President Obama to meet Colorado residents ahead of economic speech

WASHINGTON - As part of a Denver trip that began Tuesday night, President Barack Obama plans to meet with several Colorado residents who wrote the White House and shared their stories of trying to make it in today's economy, according to a White House official.

The conversations are meant to reinforce the main thrust of a speech Obama is expected to deliver Wednesday in Cheesman Park -- that Congress, in particular Republicans, aren't doing enough to "expand opportunities for the middle class," said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, in an interview.

And if that populist message also provides a boost to vulnerable Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, who is facing a re-election battle against Rep. Cory Gardner, then so be it.

"It's time for Congress, especially Republicans in Congress, to do their part," said Earnest, citing issues such as raising the minimum wage, ensuring access to Pre-K programs and lowering the cost of college tuition.

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