President Obama speaks at Convention Center in Cleveland

RAW: President Obama speaks at Convention Center in downtown Cleveland

President Barack Obama visited Cleveland Wednesday to deliver remarks on the importance of middle class economics.

Invited by the

, this is the 44

th

president's first visit to Cleveland in two years.

From presidents George H.W. Bush to George W. Bush to Bill Clinton, every sitting president in recent history has been invited and accepted to speak at the City Club. Since the City Club is too small, the president's speech took place at the

.

Obama spoke on the progress made during his administration that every American can be proud of. Highlights of his six years in office included how 16 million more Americans are now on a health plan and health insurance premiums are much lower for all businesses. He also mentioned his Affordable Care Act several times and its savings over the long haul. 

The president also discussed adding 12 million new jobs and then focused on what he says is very important over his last years in office: middle class economics. 

"America does better, our economy does better, everybody does better when the middle class does better, and they've got more ladders for people to get into the middle class if they're willing to work hard. We do better when everyone grows together, top, middle, bottom. We do better when everyone has chance to not only benefit from America's success, but also to contribute to America's success," said Obama.

After his speech, he answered questions from the audience, in true City Club fashion. The president finished by saying he believes there is nothing this nation can't do, and the same goes for Cleveland.

Click here to read the full transcript from President Obama's event

In response to Obama's speech calling on leaders to support policies that strengthen the middle class, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper released the following statement: 

"President Obama's message today highlighting the importance of building and sustaining a strong middle class is one that sorely needs to be heard by the leaders of our state.  Unlike the President's focus, Governor Kasich's most recent budget proposal continues the trickle-down philosophy that is not working for the majority of Ohio families. With almost half of Ohioans living one paycheck away from poverty, and wages stagnant for years, it's time for Ohio policies that strengthen working families." 

Republican National Convention spokesman Raffi Williams issued the following statement after Obama's speech:

"If President Obama was serious about helping the middle class achieve their American Dream he would have submitted a serious budget that would streamline the tax code, balance the budget, and repeal and replace ObamaCare. Republicans have a forward looking budget that fosters growth for the middle class, sadly the same cannot be said for the President  who continues to hold campaign style speeches instead of governing. Ohio has seen the negative impact of Obama-style policies when Ted Strickland was governor. Neither the middle class in Ohio nor America can afford to suffer through more of the same failed policies."

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