President outlines 5 cornerstones for middle class

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President Obama unveiled five cornerstones for the middle class during an hour-long speech in Galesburg on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

As President Obama entered Memorial Gym at Knox College, there was a sense of history repeating.

“Hello, Galesburg!” he exclaimed to the roaring crowd.

He outlined five cornerstones for the middle class. Starting with the economy, an important topic for a community that knows about tough times.

“Washington has taken its eye off the ball,” he said. “I’m here to say this needs to stop.”

He also called for education reforms, access and financial, that reach from pre-school to college.

That resonated with Sara Saey, a Galesburg High student.

“It will open my eyes for new job opportunities through what he’s trying to do for America,” she said.

President Obama used home ownership, a secure retirement and health care as the final three cornerstones.

He called on growing the economy from the middle-out, not top-down.

Those in the crowd realized that he can’t do it alone.

“I hope he gets help from Congress that will help our city and country,” said Tony Morrison, Galesburg.

That congressional challenge brought big cheers in the gym.

“The idea that no matter how you started out — willingness to work hard and do it yourself, you can make it happen,” President Obama said.

He’ll take this message on the road in coming weeks. It comes with a promise to spend every minute trying to help working people.

Get more video of the president’s speech, the GOP response, photos and coverage of the Galesburg visit – click here.