President Barack Obama today visited Ohio to speak about the economy. Rhonda and Joe Weitherman of Clintonville, Ohio held a backyard gathering that the President attended to reassure voters, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Struggling Economy, Optimistic Obama

President Obama spoke to the audience about how the economy is on track for improvement after the legislative changes made by his administration.

“Slowly, but surely, we are moving in the right direction,” Obama said. “We’re on the right track. The economy is getting stronger.”

Whether or not Americans will believe Obama’s optimism is debatable, considering the Associated Press just issued a GfK Poll showing that 60% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction while just 35% think it’s headed in the right direction.

President Responds to Citizens’ Concerns

Obama was put on the spot as multiple attendees in the group of 30 asked questions about the new laws and legislation approved by his administration. One man asked about health care reform and how it could help his mentally disabled brother, while another woman voiced her concern over Social Security heading toward bankruptcy and the push toward privatization.

Obama answered both of the questions by explaining how his administration was working to improve the lives of Americans and better the economy. He explained that the health care reform plan would provide employers with tax incentives so that they would offer better, bigger health insurance plans and that the government could subsidize part of a citizen’s health care if he or she weren’t able to receive it through employment. To the woman, he said, “Social Security should not be privatized and will not be privatized as long as I’m President.” He went on to talk about how Social Security was intended to serve citizens nearing retirement age, and that it was the government’s responsibility.

Obama attended the gathering because the Weithermans were an example of a family that benefited from his reform policies. He made sure to show his concern and availability for other families impacted by the reform. The economy is a crucial issue for the Democratic party, which needs to see economic improvement in the short term. Midterm elections are on the horizon and whether the Democrats hold their majority in Congress could largely depend on the state of the economy.

The Associated Press provided video highlights from Obama’s trip to Ohio:

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