President Obama speaks about job training at Lorain County Community College… (Michael Francis McElroy…)
ELYRIA, Ohio -- President Obama invoked his working-class roots and the career success he enjoyed later as he pitched his vision of economic fairness in the key electoral battleground of state of Ohio.
Obama, speaking Wednesday at Lorain County Community College in the Cleveland-area town of Elyria, touted his support for investment in job training programs that connect community colleges with unemployed workers, programs he warned the Republicans would "gut" under their budget blueprint.
As his campaign hammers former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over his lack of financial disclosure and portrays him as out of touch with the worries of lower- and middle-class Americans, Obama himself told the crowd that "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth."
"But somebody gave us a chance, just like these folks up here are looking for a chance."
"When you take classes at a community college like this one, and you learn the skills that you need to get a job right away way. That does not just benefit you; it benefits the company that ends up hiring and profiting from your skills. It makes the entire region stronger economically. It makes this country stronger economically," he continued.
Obama's trip to Ohio -- the 20th of his presidency, according to CBS News -- was ostensibly official, and not a campaign event. But he again used the congressional Republicans as a proxy to frame the general election case against Romney.
He noted that earlier in the week Senate Republicans blocked his proposed "Buffett rule" to require millionaires to pay at least 30% of their income in taxes. And Republicans would extend Bush-era tax rates at the expense of work-training programs like the ones he promoted, Obama said.
"They want to give me more of a tax break," Obama said, including himself among the wealthiest Americans. "Now, I just paid taxes. It's not like I love paying taxes. But I can afford it. I don't need another tax break."
"What's the better way to make our economy stronger? Give more tax breaks to every millionaire and billionaire in the country, or make investments in education and research and healthcare and job training?" he asked.
After the event, Obama was to travel to Michigan for a pair of campaign fundraisers in the Detroit area.
Hennessey reported from Elyria and Memoli from the Washington bureau.
Original source: Obama: 'I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth'