Obama Makes Midterm Economic Pitch to Younger VotersMargaret Talev
President Barack Obama took his economic pitch to a crowd of young entrepreneurs today as he tries to energize a group of voters crucial for Democrats running in next month’s midterm elections.
The president is making a direct appeal to the so-called millennial generation -- those born after 1980 -- by seeking to tie his policies to their interests and concerns.
Millennials are “going to change how we do things,” Obama told an audience at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, California, a workspace for entrepreneurs and startup companies. “Entrepreneurship is in the DNA of this generation.”
Before Obama arrived in California, the administration released what it called an “agenda for creating economic opportunity for millennials.” The document is a collection of economic policies and proposals that Obama has been promoting, including expanding assistance for college tuition and investing in research and transportation.
Obama also brought a list of things he’s pushing that appeal to young people and that Republicans in Congress have resisted including raising the minimum wage and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children.
“We can manage the country’s finances while still investing in you,” he said.
Obama touched on subjects from immigration policy to the open Internet.
He said he was unequivocally committed to net neutrality, saying “it’s what has unleashed the power of the Internet.” On immigration policy, Obama again criticized House Republicans for blocking action on Senate-passed laws and promised to “use all the executive authority I legally have” to make changes.
While Obama’s efforts on behalf of Democratic candidates has been mostly limited to fundraising rather than campaign appearances, he’s been hitting the stump on behalf of his own economic record. In several recent speeches, Obama has said the policies that helped pull the U.S. out of the worst recession in more than seven decades are on the line in November.
That’s been a tough sell for a president who’s approval ratings have been stuck at 40 percent to 45 percent in most polls since the start of the year.
While payrolls this year are expanding at the fastest pace since 1999 and the jobless rate declined to 5.9 percent last month, the lowest since 2008, middle-class incomes still haven’t returned to pre-recession levels.