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. pgraham52

    Going to be tough to do while on a vacation in Nantucket. Amongst all the furloughs.

    July 21, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  2. Jeff

    If he was that concerned with the economy, by is he on vacation, especially when federal employees have to take unpaid furlough days

    July 21, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  3. Doo doo brown

    When it comes to being a leader mr. President. You are the weakest link.

    July 21, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  4. TOM

    not impressed with speeches. We need action. What has he bee doing the last 5 years.

    July 21, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. loops808

    It's about time. Twenty-eight states saw ther unemployment rate go up in June. But is hereally going to addres the issue or just give another speech? Also, why is this president going on another vacation to Martha's Vineyards while many employees are getting furloughed? This guy is so out of touch. What happened about sharing the pain? Or is that just another talking point?

    July 21, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. Stop the craziness

    After he embarrassed us in Africa and spend over 100 million to do...nothing...he is going to get back on the economy. Nice!

    July 21, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. archer

    Had to comment...the title of this piece cracked me up. Obama to refocus on economy...snicker, snicker

    July 21, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  8. David

    Yeah, like he did that before. He'll just ride it out till another scandal comes along. Worthless heap of crap this one.

    July 21, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. rt

    Yeah, we're all familiar with his "laser like focus".

    July 21, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. Travis

    Oh so Obama wasn't focusing on the economy before? I bet it was that $100,000.00 vacation to Africa that took up his time. CNN "Cartoon News Network".

    July 21, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  11. Lewis Odom

    Are Repiblicans for anything but apple pie and the fourth of July?. They seem to be not interested in the health care of Americans who are far less well off and are they. What a shame!

    July 21, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. fg

    Y e a h , w e ' r e a l l f a m i l i a r w i t h h i s " l a s e r l i k e f o c u s "

    July 21, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. Slipstone

    Refocusing on the economy? This is to suggest that he once was focused on the economy? Let's just hope he refocuses his strategy.

    July 21, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  14. ratherbboating

    Obama on the road again? Another vacation in Martha's Vineyard again with the rich and famous. His idea of helping the economy.

    July 21, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. G2

    Strange how we never hear from Democrats and Republicans how to restructure the tax code to bring jobs back from overseas or to make free trade agreements that benefit American workers; but we can spend all the time in the world discussing how to keep illegal’s in this country to take middle and lower class jobs like it was our number one priority.

    July 21, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  16. Doo doo brown

    The Obama and Biden comedy hour show, tonight guests are nancy pelosi, harry Reid, jay z and beyonce ,we also have rev. Wright, al sharp ton and Jesse Jackson. This is one big line up so don't miss the comedy hour show

    July 21, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  17. AH

    Hey, he finally decided to work on things that are important to ALL americans instead of focusing on Trayvon Martin – a case that wasn't even about race. Way to divide the country.

    July 21, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  18. davecu

    Perhaps he could put his ego aside, his party's self interest aside, and do what is right for the country instead.

    July 21, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. SteveO

    Why is he focusing on the economy when there may be another white or white hispanic person out there using his right to self defense. Who's going to stop them if Obama is busy?

    July 21, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  20. Paul Chacho Jr.

    The same tired garbage from both obama and his henchmen at CNN. obama is the most corrupt person ever on American politics. He does not care about anything but destroying America with progressive/socialist tyranny. Cannot wait until he is no more.

    July 21, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  21. Harkonnen

    Refocusing on the economy? When has he ever focused on it?

    July 21, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. Bill Carson

    Obama talking about the economy? Why would a race hustler talk about that?

    July 21, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. joe

    Why is our economy still having relatively high unemployment rate but Wall Street has already been rewarded much more than it deserved? Can anyone see something wrong with the policies? Even President is still trying to tax from the rich back to support the government spending, the rich may be even richer than before already. And, if the federal minimum wage is raised later to help the poor, the middle class and the retirees will be the victims of inflation from new policies. Can anyone honestly admit that the debt has been the spending addiction problem and no one knows how or is willing to fix it? I don't know what else to say, but only hope things can be getting better for the country.

    July 21, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. stopdrinkinthekoolaid

    just now .. GASP.. now the economy needs focus.

    I thought that was a problem for the past 5 FLIPPING YEARS

    July 21, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  25. Russell

    It would have been nice if Obama had 'focused' on the economy back in 2008, when he was newly elected and had both housed of Congress, and people had only been out of work for a few months. With the changes in Congress and in his popularity since then all he'll be able to do now is make symbolic speeches.

    July 21, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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