The stop in Kansas City is among Obama’s tour across the nation to push his economic agenda ahead of the midterm elections. The nation’s economy was the focus of his speech.
The economy is on the mend, according to Obama, who cites a low unemployment rate, high graduation rates, and electricity, gas and oil production in the nation.
“So the decisions that we made to rescue our economy, to rescue the auto industry, to rebuild the economy on a new foundation, to invest in research and infrastructure, education, all those things are starting to pay off,” the president says.
Obama also chided lawmakers for spending the limited days before their month-long summer break in an effort to sue him instead of addressing economic issues that could boos the middle class.
His speech came hours before the House plans to formally vote to authorize House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to go forward with a lawsuit against the president.
“Come on and help out a little bit,” says the president after listing ways he had taken unilaterally taken steps he says will help Americans. “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Let’s get some work done together.”
“I know they’re not that happy that I’m president, but that’s okay,” Obama continues. “Come on. I’ve only got a couple of years left. Come on, let’s get some work done. Then you can be mad at the next president.”
At the same time, Obama says he is optimistic of an improving U.S. economy on the heels of the new data showing strong growth in the second quarter of the year. He says optimism is something that can bring progress to the nation.
“I do not believe in a cynical America; I believe in an optimistic America that is making progress,” he says. “And I believe despite unyielding opposition, there are workers right now who have jobs who didn’t have them before because of what we've done; and folks who got health care who didn’t have it because of the work that we've done; and students who are going to college who couldn’t afford it before; and troops who’ve come home after tour after tour of duty because of what we've done.”
Along with supporters inside the theater, were protesters outside across the street holidng signs related to several issues including Gaza, immigration, health care and Russia.
"Nobama He's Not My President,” says one.
"Obomba (sic) STOP funding Zionist murderers and their apartheid state! STOP your drone murder program and prosecution of whistleblowers exposing crimes!" says another.
Air Force One was set to take the president to Washington D.C. around 1:35 p.m. Wednesday.
(Some information provided by Emmarie Huetteman with The New York Times and KCTV, Kansas City)
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