Obama to talk about economy at Illinois college
July 21st, 2013
08:00 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama to talk about economy at Illinois college

(CNN) – President Barack Obama will hit the road again to talk about jobs and the economy, resetting the message amid a busy summer that's so far been dominated by immigration reform efforts, the IRS scandal, national security leaks and the president's trips to Europe and Africa.

Obama will return to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois on Wednesday to kick off a series of speeches about his economic plan, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer wrote in an e-mail to supporters Sunday evening.

The president will also visit Warrensburg, Missouri, on Wednesday and travel to Jacksonville, Florida, the following day to speak again on the country's economic conditions. During additional stops in the coming weeks, Pfeiffer wrote Obama will touch on jobs, education, health care and retirement, including "new ideas and new pushes for ideas he has discussed before."

"He'll talk about the progress we've made together, the challenges that remain, and the path forward," Pfeiffer wrote in the e-mail, referring to the Knox College speech.

According to a White House official, the road show will wrap up before Washington faces another debt ceiling deadline around the end of September. Wednesday’s speech will also include mention of the economic case for immigration reform, the official confirmed.

The e-mail included a link to a video that harkens back to Obama's 2005 speech at Knox College–not long after Obama was elected U.S. senator–when the White House says Obama gave his first major address about his economic ideas.

"It’s been the creation of a massive middle class, through decent wages and benefits and public schools, that allowed us all to prosper," he said at the time. "It depended on a belief in the free market, but it also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other."

The video splices together quotes from some of the president's economic-themed speeches since then, including many familiar refrains that focus on the middle class.

Polls indicate that the economy remains the top issue on the minds of Americans.

"The economy, and the things we can do to help it grow and strengthen and secure and expand the middle class, has been, is and will be the central focus of the president's domestic policy," White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Friday.

In late May and early June, Obama held events about jobs in Baltimore, Maryland; Austin, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The White House touts the growth of 7.2 million private-sector jobs in the last 40 months and an unemployment level that has dropped to 7.6% from its peak of 10% in October 2009.

Republicans, however, argue the president is pursuing the wrong economic policies, citing the still relatively high unemployment rate as an example. The president's first step, many have argued in recent weeks, should be repealing Obamacare, a program they consider detrimental to job creation.

Their argument was further bolstered earlier this month when the White House announced it would delay a key provision of the program that requires employers to provide health insurance. House Republicans passed a bill last week requiring the Obama administration to delay the provision that requires individuals to get health insurance or face a penalty.

– CNN’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy, Jessica Yellin, Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Economy • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Truth Partner 12

    He can ponder the crappy economy, the massive US debt and current Federal Government furlough from his posh vacation in Martha's Vineyard.

    July 21, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. Raul Kabinza

    This president has failed to appease those who would create meaningful jobs since his solar business debacle when he made guaranteed loans to non-viable phony businesses. Instead of opening up public lands for shale gas exploration, his people are bragging about slowing down applications. And now thousands will lose their jobs at coal-fired power plants because he went around congress to use executive order for EPA to change the rules about emissions. In the meantime we need more engineers to promote and advance American entrepreneurship but many young people are more interested in movies, Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. We need the president to spur growth, not suppress it.

    July 21, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. kahnkeller

    so... after five years in office.... obama has now reached the point that he feels he should... you know... talk about jobs and the economy.... I am...not impressed....

    July 21, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  4. Mike

    How do you Re-Focus on something you never focused on in the first place?

    July 21, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  5. Aurora Chuck

    This guy's a joke. He's not a leader and does not know how to run a country or the economy for that matter. I've conceded that he's wasted my and my family's lives for 8 years. He's a big government liberal and hates the free enterprise system so how's he going to fix the economy. Another big entitlement welfare policy? Hello Detroit!

    July 21, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. ron

    to late he has forgot his job now he is just raising money he has been to cali to raise millions in the last year he is out for himself as all politicions are. thats a rap.

    July 21, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. Adam

    About time. I hope he does more than just hit the road to talk about it.

    July 21, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. Joe M.

    Isn't this the 20th time he's "refocused" on the economy? It never lasts long – usually just until the end of his speech. It's actually a good thing, because all of his economic ideas are terrible and would do more harm.

    July 21, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. what?

    Economic plan?! Um. Little late?!

    July 21, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. Descarado

    Who buys this shtick? That laser focus and three dimensional thinking certainly has accomplished a lot after 4 1/2 years. Hahahahahaha!!!

    July 21, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  11. Chris

    Oh, you mean he's done commenting on things he has no knowledge of? Or vacationing with his family? Or promising BILLIONS of US dollars to other countries without any sort of approval? So proud of a president who has to announce he's going to show up to work.

    July 21, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  12. Nathan

    Big difference between "talk about" and "focus" on the economy, CNN. We've had 4+ years to know the president is all talk and no action.

    July 21, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. doug lynn

    RE-focusing? When was the economy ever his focus? With the highest corporate tax rate in the world and the Obamacare taxes/penalties kicking in soon. how can anyone believe he cares about jobs? He is pushing to increase the unemployment rate of lower skilled workers by pushing for legalization of millions of low skilled workers from outside the US.

    July 21, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  14. Econ for dummies

    Obama has been winning the economic arguement has continued to add jobs. Pass a second Jobs bill and finish the Job. Our GDP to Debt ratio is low compared to Japan and therefore are debt is strong enough to pursue such policies.

    July 21, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. Trueliberal9

    his plan................throw more money at it

    July 21, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  16. All Life Is Precious

    Re-focussing? How do you re-focus if you've ignored it for 5 years?

    July 21, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  17. HenryMiller

    "...but it also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other."

    Translation: "Those nasty rich people have no regard for anyone else, so it's okay to tax them to death."

    We'll see almost immediately how serious Obama is about jobs and the economy—if his first proposal isn't "repeal Obamacare" we'll know he's not serious.

    July 21, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. Darkness

    I'm not going to lie, I have lost all faith in this president... 2016 any one but this guy and we will be better off...... Right now he is just killing time and trying to go down in history as somthing other than the worst president.

    July 21, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. JAZZTRUTH

    President Obama, well done. Focusing on issues relating to our economy is a great stepping stone. To all the Republicans, take a moment and listen to the America people and not the rich businessman and lobbyist who give political contributions towards your party. Stop allowing money to rule politics and create legislation that benefits the businesses and investors, yet deny the needs of the American people just because they're not able to write out checks to demand change that suits the people. We need more honest and straight-forward politics!!!

    July 21, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. Wage Slave

    " earlier this month when the White House announced it would delay a key provision of the program that requires employers to provide health insurance."

    Only part-time temp jobs available in my area because of Obamacare, even after he gave an extension before implementation.

    Thanks, Pres! I didn't even care about health care, but now I can't find a job that will support me.

    July 21, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  21. dexxx

    like he cares about how the economy will be....he will have a fat pension when hes done...he is just going to screw everyone else

    July 21, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  22. Mike Trottier

    I don't really care what republicans say,
    I THINK THIS PRESIDENT IS DOING A GOOD JOB!
    He could be doing a GREAT job if it wasn't for the obstructionists in congress.
    Americans voted for this man TWICE, that should tell republicans, YOUR POLICIES SUCK!

    July 21, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    he needs to get off the whole trayvon martin , and quit being racist to the rest of us

    July 21, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  24. Ted

    Mr. Obama – you should have never taken the focus of the economy. You allowed yourself into numerous meaningless to this nation scandals, special groups agendas, and out-of-our control foreign crisis instead of fighting for agenda you set out to do. So far, you have accomplished absolutely nothing in this term and you have to put it into overdrive or we hit the fiscal cliff and Bernanke with his utterly insane printing-deficit exploding strategy would have nothing left to rescue us.

    July 21, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. manhandler

    No....their argument wasn't further bolstered because of the delay giving some businesses more time to get it together. That applies to a minute percentage of business and affects hardly no one. For this article to make just a flat statement like that is just another example of the press fanning the flames in order to keep something up there....anything...for them to blow all out of proportion.

    July 21, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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