WARRENSBURG, Mo. - Shirt sleeves rolled up in the heat, President Obama took his retooled economic message to a packed-in crowd at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo., on Wednesday.
A university spokesperson says 2,500 tickets were distributed for the event and attendees stood for hours awaiting a president who ran more than an hour late.
“It is great to be back in Missouri,” said the President, pronouncing it Miss-ou-rah, as he opened his speech.
Obama focused mainly on the economy and education in America with importance stressed on the middle-class. He said building the middle class and making sure they are secure is his highest priority.
"I'm not going to allow gridlock or inaction or willful indifference to get in this country's way. We've got to get moving," said the President.
Obama also praised UCM’s accelerated program that allows students to graduate in two years with less debt, while preparing them for jobs in the workforce with hands-on work experience.
“UCM is doing extraordinary things,” Obama said.
Obama dinged Congress who “didn’t get its act together,” as he talked about what his priorities for the remainder of his presidency are.
“Sometimes, frankly I can’t wait for Congress. It takes them a long time to decide on stuff,” he said.
Despite delivering his speech in deep-red Republican territory, President Obama was warmly received on campus.
First in line this morning was a couple from the area who were outside of the student recreational center before dawn Wednesday.
"We were excited to get here. We got here at about 5 a.m. especially so we can get a spot close up so our kids can see the president," Dollie Jackson said, while sitting next to her husband Timothy.
"It's too much of an opportunity to miss. We were supposed to go on vacation but we delayed it to see the president," Janna Yousef, 15, said.
"We hope we hear about the economy and maybe some jobs for people. We are retired but there are people behind us and hopefully it is about jobs and the economy,” Genneth Labrie said.
But the President did not receive a warm welcome from everyone. A group who calls themselves the Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment waved signs and stood on the opposing side of campus.
"There seems to be nobody speaking for us in congress or the senate. There's Benghazi there's the HSA. We seem to never get any answers to any this. Meanwhile they are spending money left and right. We are finding out every day more and more money that these people are spending. We need to get this country back under control again, Jane Kern said.
President Obama plans to continue his tour this summer with speeches across the country in smaller towns like Warrensburg, including another speech tomorrow in Jacksonville, Florida.
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