Conflict & Justice

President Obama Lays out Vision for Middle Class Recovery in Galesburg, Illinois

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Credit: REUTERS

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the economy during a visit to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois July 24, 2013. Obama sought to inject momentum into his economic and domestic policy agenda on Wednesday with a speech designed to clarify his vision for his second term and hammer Republicans in the House of Representatives for getting in his way. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX11XJT

President Obama spoke about the economy today in the small city of Galesburg, Ill., where he painted a picture of an economy on the rebound and laid out his vision to build a stronger middle class.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

The president said he will be stopping in small US towns for the next few weeks to continue to expand his "better bargain for the middle class."

"What we need is not a three-month plan, or even a three-year plan. We need a long-term American strategy based on steady, persistent effort to reverse the forces that have conspired against the middle class for decades. That has to be our project," President Obama said in Galesburg.

Among the 'forces' he mentioned were global competition.

The city of Galesburg knows that lesson well. Maytag used to be the city's largest employer. But the company closed its doors and shifted jobs to Mexico in 2004.

It cost the city some 1,600 jobs.

Host Carol Hills spoke with the vice mayor of Galesburg, Wayne Allen, about what kind of place his city is today.

Allen said the future of the town lays with small employers.

"Small business is what's going to make this country grow," said Allen, who advised young people "to get with a company that's here in Galesburg and help them grow."

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