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While Americans remain on edge over a series of international crises, President Barack Obama on Thursday attempted to remind voters of the economic progress that has been made ahead of the midterm elections.
“What supports our leadership role in the world is ultimately the strength of our economy here at home,” the president said at Northwestern University in Illinois. He said it is “indisputable” the country’s economic outlook is better today than when he took office in 2009, but Republicans have blocked a series of proposals he believes would help the economy even more.
Those include raising the minimum wage, overhauling the country’s immigration system and rebuilding the nation’s aging roads and bridges. The president has taken a number of executive actions to bypass Congressional Republicans opposition to his proposals.
“I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle's pretty happy about that,” Obama said. “But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”
He said Republicans should "have the courage" to lay out their plans for economic growth.
Before his speech, the president attended a fundraiser for Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who is facing a tough re-election campaign against Republican Bruce Rauner. Quinn attended the president’s speech but he did not appear on stage with Obama, who has avoided appearing with many vulnerable Democrats in tight races this year.
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-- Andrew Rafferty