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Obama touts jobs plan for veterans while in Twin Cities

President Barack Obama was in the Twin Cities Friday for a little business and some serious fundraising.

The Star Tribune had a live blog of tweets, photos and comments related to the Obama visit.

After stepping off Air Force One, Obama greeted Minnesota politicians and others gathered to catch a glimpse of the president. “School out yet?” he asked one girl.

Obama spoke to a crowd at Honeywell during an address at the manufacturer’s campus in Golden Valley.

The Star Tribune reports that Obama acknowledged the economy is “not where we want [it] to be,” but cited signs of an emerging economic recovery, including in the manufacturing sector. “We will come back stronger. We do have better days ahead and that’s because of all of you,” he said.

Republicans pounced on Obama Friday, noting a new report that shows the fewest number of new jobs created in a year and unemployment rising to 8.2 percent, Fox News reports.

Obama at Honeywell also touted a plan to put veterans returning from war to work.

“I believe that no one who fights for this country should ever have to fight for a job when they come home,” Obama said, the Pioneer Press reports.

Obama cited the case of a combat medic from Minnesota who couldn’t get an emergency medical technician job when he returned because he lacked the required credentials, the Pioneer Press says.

“Let me tell you something, if you can save a life on a battlefield, you can save a life in an ambulance,” Obama said.

WCCO has video of the speech.

Obama then went to three afternoon fundraisers, where he raised between $5,000 and $50,000 a head.

The fundraisers were at The Bachelor Farmer, the downtown Minneapolis restaurant owned by the sons of Gov. Mark Dayton, and the events benefit the Obama campaign and Democratic efforts, the Associated Press says.

Obama saw in Minnesota a state that is doing better than some in its economic recovery, despite lingering fears, MinnPost says. The president will need the state’s independent voters with him again, MinnPost says.

The presidential race is off to a quiet start in Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio reports. The state may not draw as much attention from the presidential candidates, in part because Republican Mitt Romney has not started an active campaign here. Obama’s re-election campaign has been active in Minnesota for nearly a year, MPR says.

Meanwhile, Romney has assembled a diverse cast of surrogates to carry his message, and among his designated hitters is former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the Washington Post reports.

Pawlenty on Friday pointed to a weak jobs report as evidence that Obama was the wrong man for the job, the AP says.

The Associated Press found another angle on the president’s visit: the political impact of Obama’s support for same-sex marriage will be tested this fall in Minnesota, where opponents of a proposed same-sex marriage ban are hoping the president’s enduring popularity here will help persuade skeptical Democrats to vote it down. Obama’s trip comes three weeks after he announced his full support for the right of same-sex couples to wed.

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April 18, 2014