President Obama's Minneapolis town hall in 11 quotes - KMSP-TV

11 quotes that sum Obama town hall in Minneapolis

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President Obama used a town hall-style-meeting at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis on Thursday to express his solidarity with middle class Americans. “I know it,” Obama said. “You’re the reason I ran for office. I grew up, not in tough circumstances, but I was one of you guys.”

What the president said

USA SOCCER: “We could not be more proud of them. They are defying the odds and earning a lot of believers in the process.”

FEELING LOOSE: “Our agenda is still a little loose. I might pop in for some ice cream or visit a small business. I don’t know, I might just make it up as I go along. With Secret Service, I always tease them, I’m like a caged bear and sometimes I break loose. And I’m feeling super loose today, so you don’t know what I might do.”

FLOODING: “We made sure that FEMA is already on the ground here. The Army Corps of Engineers is helping build a levee in Warroad. I told the governor that we will be there as we get clarity about the damage and what needs to be done. You should feel confident that you’ll have a strong partner in FEMA and the federal government in cleaning up.”

ECONOMY: “In aggregate, when you look at the country as a whole, the economy is doing better than when I came into office, and in many cases significantly better.”

SALARIES AND WAGES: “We’ve got an economy that when it grows –when the stock market and 401ks are doing well -- it’s still having trouble producing increases in salaries and increases in wages for ordinary folks… We've seen wages and incomes flat-line even though the cost of food and housing have gone up."

WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY: When companies adopt family-friendly policies, their productivity goes up.”

EQUAL PAY: “If you’re doing the same job, you should make the same pay. Period.”

“The day Sandy Hook happened was probably the worst day of my presidency… "I thought it was going to be a breakthrough moment with Congress. The fact that it wasn't is a great disappointment...”This is the only advanced country that tolerates something like this.”

CLIMATE CHANGE: "The science here is settled.

MESSAGE TO MIDDLE CLASS: “I know it. You’re the reason I ran for office. I grew up, not in tough circumstances, but I was one of you guys. Someone out here is going through what my mom went through. Someone is going through what my grandma went through…it’s not like I forget…you guys are the reason I ran.”

PARTING MESSAGE: “Cynicism is popular these days, but hope is better.”

'Jucy' lunch conversation

The president's first stop between MSP Airport and Minnehaha Park was Matt's Bar on Cedar Avenue -- home of the iconic, cheese-stuffed "Jucy Lucy" burger -- for lunch with a St. Anthony, Minn. mother named Rebekah,  who wrote him a letter about her struggles as a middle class American.

PHOTO: Pres. Obama has lunch with Rebekah at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis (Twitter / White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest)

"I think it's going to be wonderful for me to let Rebekah know not only am I listening, but that she's not alone out there,” Obama said in a White House YouTube video. “What I’m hoping to do when I get a chance to see Rebekah directly is to tell her that not only am I listening and paying attention, but there are actually policies out there that could actually make a difference in her life if we can get Washington to work on her behalf.”

Then and now: Presidents at Minnehaha Falls

In 1964, Minneapolis had to open fire hydrants to “create” the Minnehaha Falls for President Lyndon B. Johnson. That won’t be necessary for President Obama’s visit.

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