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Article updated: 2/15/2013 4:16 PM

Obama in Chicago exhorts 'ladders of opportunity'


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.

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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