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updated: 2/15/2013 4:16 PM

Obama in Chicago exhorts 'ladders of opportunity'

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  • President Barack Obama is greeted Friday by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after arriving at O'Hare International Airport. The president Obama went to Chicago to pitch his "Ladders of opportunity" economic plan that he laid out in his State of the Union address.

      President Barack Obama is greeted Friday by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after arriving at O'Hare International Airport. The president Obama went to Chicago to pitch his "Ladders of opportunity" economic plan that he laid out in his State of the Union address.
    associated press

  • President Barack Obama shakes hands after arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Decatur, Ga., Thursday.

      President Barack Obama shakes hands after arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Decatur, Ga., Thursday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

President Barack Obama is portraying his State of the Union proposals as elements of a concerted effort to build "ladders of opportunity" into the middle class.

In remarks Friday at Hyde Park Academy in his hometown of Chicago, Obama says by reducing gun violence, expanding preschool access, raising the minimum wage and improving job training, the U.S. can ensure every child has a chance to succeed.

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He's also calling for initiatives to encourage marriage, strong parenting and responsible fatherhood.

Obama's address in Chicago is the last leg of a three-day tour to rally support for the ideas he presented Tuesday in his address before a joint session of Congress. Republicans are already voicing skepticism about many of his proposals.

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