Obama visit first in Ohio since ‘13

City Club in Cleveland has hosted every president since Reagan.

President Barack Obama will visit Cleveland on Wednesday to discuss middle class economics, the White House said Friday.

Obama plans to make his remarks at the City Club of Cleveland. The White House will release further details about Obama’s trip in the next few days.

The City Club, which describes itself as the country’s oldest, non-partisan and continuously operating free speech program, has hosted past presidents including Theodore Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, according to its website. It has also hosted Babe Ruth, Desmond Tutu and Rosa Parks, among others.

Dan Moulthrop, the CEO of the City Club, said the club has hosted every president since Ronald Reagan. It also hosted Theodore Roosevelt in 1913 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was a state senator. Robert F. Kennedy addressed the club the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated.

This would be Obama’s first appearance at the club.

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“We are what you might refer to as a historically important institution,” Moulthrop said. “What makes us different than other organizations is since our founding we have always been nonpartisan and fiercely committed to hearing from all sides.”

Moulthrop said he re-extended the invitation to Obama when he took on the CEO job in 2013. Obama’s visit will continue the club’s streak of hosting every president since Reagan.

City Club appearances always include an unscripted question and answer period directly with the audience.

Obama’s last visit to Ohio came in November 2013, when he visited the ArcelorMittal steel plant in Cleveland. He also delivered the commencement address at the Ohio State University that year.

Raffi Williams, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said it is ironic that Obama is addressing middle class economics.

“Obamanomics has hurt the middle class — labor force participation is at a low not seen since Carter and wages have stagnated,” Williams said. “If Obama truly wants to help the middle class he would roll back the burdensome regulations and repeal and replace ObamaCare.”

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