President Obama talks economy, middle-class during day one in Minneapolis

By KBJR News 1

June 26, 2014 Updated Jun 26, 2014 at 5:28 PM CDT

Minneapolis, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minneapolis played host to President Obama this afternoon, as he kicked off his two–day visit to Minnesota with a town hall meeting near a swollen Minnehaha Falls.

The White House is describing this public meeting as the start of his "day in the life" series of visits.

Part of the President's visit involved spending time with a Minneapolis woman who had written Obama about her financial hardships. Those personal experiences personified a big part of what the President's town hall discussion covered: the economy, with an emphasis on the middle class.

Obama began by noting Minnesota's unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since 2007.

Along with that, there was talk of how state lawmakers recently passed legislation raising Minnesota's minimum wage from $6.15 an hour to $9.50 by 2016.

On Monday the President said the White House hosted a "working families summit" to talk about what he called people's "bread and butter" issues, like strengthening child care and paid family leave.

"...paid family leave, so that if a child is sick or a parent was sick... you could actually go help and take care of them; which is, by the way, what every other developed country does. We're the only one that doesn't have it," commented Obama during the town hall meeting.

The President will also be attending a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during his time in Minnesota.

Both political parties view Obama's visit as an opportunity to strengthen their support leading up to mid–term elections in November.

Democrats view his visit as a chance to rally voters, and draw attention to the state's successes. But Republicans see an opportunity to point out the president's struggles with issues like health care reform, while connecting political opponents like Senator Al Franken and Governor Mark Dayton to the controversial topics.

The president also mentioned the state's current flooding crisis.

President Obama told the crowd that you should feel confident that you're going to have a strong partner in FEMA and the Federal Government in process of cleaning up.

Billy Wagness
bwagness@kbjr.com

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