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. Sahari

    Obama refocusing on economy... oh, really? Is there some money out here that the pigs didn't get the last time through?

    July 21, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  2. Tim

    Obama focused on the economy? That's a joke. He has made a mess of it.

    July 22, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  3. patriot123579

    Don't you have to focus on something a first time before you can "re-focus" on it?

    July 22, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  4. Cord

    Yeee-haw. More speeches. Just what our country needs to turn itself around . . .

    July 22, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  5. Joe Locutex

    Dear Mr Obama, no is paying attention. I tried to read the article but it sounded computer generated list of buzzwords. Content free.

    July 22, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  6. Finally

    As a 24 year old living in Southern IL I can say that this is a crock of bs. There are no good jobs to have and no one is working to fix that. College is way out of reach for me. Not being a minority and busting my hump at 2 part time jobs, "Because in southern Illinois even Wall mart isn't doing full time..." I have a better chance of loosing 50 pounds and being a Marine than I do getting into a good college. And even then its near impossible. My husband has a doctorate degree in engineering and he might have to work part time at a book store!!! So ya, no high hopes here... Its all just talk. Keep yappin Mr. Prez...

    July 22, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  7. Mike Adams

    "Since the Democrats are great friends of the working class, the labor unions, and the factory workers, why doesn't he roll out his plan to stop manufacturing job loses and how they are going to get those manufacturing jobs back in the USA? He has had four and a half years, surely that plan should be pretty elaborate by now. Time to stop the bleeding!!!"

    You're right, but no one is interested in saving those jobs or bringing them back.

    July 22, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  8. Stang05

    sounds like another round of same old same old campaign speeches. What I envision but no substance on how to get there.

    July 22, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  9. Lee

    How nice of him..

    July 22, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  10. Carl Mann

    Talk, talk, talk...Congress must act. We need laws that protect the middle class against corporate abuse. Enact a new Glass-Stegall, limit ceo total compensation to 200 (or some amount) times the lowest paid worker. Corporate Exec's are robbing public companies blind as no one is even trying to stop them.
    -nationalcoingradingservice.com

    July 22, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  11. sunnyjim

    would like less talk and more action and damn soon too

    July 22, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  12. Cathy

    The President will "hit the road". Again? Say it ain't so!

    July 22, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  13. Eyeful For The Moderator

    That will send the DOW down.

    July 22, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  14. Ed

    Yup. He's justvTHAT good! All he needs to do is "give a speech" and all will be well...

    He has "pivoted to the economy" so many times that an average lawn sprinkler would get dizzy trying to keep up! And yet his policies are "all wet..." Like my lawn!!

    He is not a good leader!!!

    July 22, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  15. Matt

    To refocus on something don't you have to have actually have focused on it at some point first?

    July 22, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  16. Acceler8

    I liked the title "Refocusing on the Economy." Didn't know (but I really did) that he did lose focus on the economy. You know, instead of him giving all types of speeches, he ought to change his strategy. Why doesn't he have those Town Hall meetings like he had before election. Where he sat down with regular American people and they asked questions to him? Can he please try to do something, anything, to make something happen positive for all us Americans?

    July 22, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  17. Fritz Hohenheim

    Wow, all is well. Obama is back to delivering speeches.

    July 22, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  18. marctheduck

    Obama never stays focused on any one thing for very long. Hence, nothing more that a series of unrelated speeches ever gets produced by his administration. Last week Trayvon. The week before, what? One of several scandals. This week, back to the economy. Next week? Which way will the wind blow?

    July 22, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. jrock

    Well its about time.

    July 22, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  20. carl nelson

    A perfect segway from racism to classism. Let's explore the exploding disparity in wealth. Let's talk about economic justice.
    There are hundreds of millions of fellow humans in this small world who wake each day wondering if they will find food to eat or water to drink. Many millions are born into this existence. I am free of these worries, due only to the fact I had the good fortune to be born in the U.S. Therefore I feel a certain burden to make full use of this luxury of freedom and plenty to tackle the question of "Right living" What many in this country call Christian. What do we owe the least of us ? Is there peace when my neighbors children are hungry ? We refer to ourselves as The First World, I guess that means we must lead the way. What comes next then ? It looks as though there will either be a deeply profound shift toward a compassion and love for all man kind or the much anticipated Armageddon.
    Why not give Love a chance? What do we have to lose ?.

    July 22, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  21. Darrell

    NO! BAD OBAMA! Fix NSA, DOJ and IRS and THEN refocus on economy.

    July 22, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  22. Pete

    No tour stops in Detroit?

    July 22, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  23. jERRY hOEFEM

    Goverment need to stop spending tax dallors on imports . This includes states an federal an local goverment ,its futil for goverment to spend trillions on imports that use to be made in usa . On top of goverments poor spending habits it rewards these american companys by buying product use to be made in usa with our tax money. Spending 3 million on ink jet printer made in japan is crazy.If goverment cant live with its means an support jobs in usa it should go with out just like rest of us who lost our jobs

    July 22, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  24. Starman

    Im a liberal who voted for Obama and I sure don't think he should "refocus" on the economy... Lets stay focused on this NSA business.

    July 22, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  25. Peter Daniel

    Is he done grandstanding so back to important issues. Politicians have no shame.

    July 22, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
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