Obama to talk about economy at Illinois college
July 21st, 2013
08:00 PM ET
10 years 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. UpsetVoter

    This country has been exporting jobs for decades and neither political party has any intention of stopping it. If you want to improve things, you need to give people hope and there is not much of that left. Our economy is too based on spending money while people can not get the jobs to make enough money to survive.

    July 22, 2013 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  2. USA

    Less speaking, more doing, Mr. President. The more time you spend talking about what you want to do, and making comments about current events that have no relation to the job we've elected you to do (Martin vs Zimmerman), the more we are losing due to sequestration and epidemic unemployment.

    You are the plumber, and our toilet (economy) is stuck on flush. We have elected you to fix it.

    July 22, 2013 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  3. wyatt

    Obamacare and its onerous requierments on employers with 50 employees is anti-growth. Employers having to pay a penalty of $2000.00 per employee gives them no incentive to ever grow their business above 50.The bailouts have not saved Detroit. The shovel ready jobs have not materialized. There are more people on foodstamps then ever before and his economic program is only been propped up by the Fed's QE programs and the printing of more devalued money. When are people going to see that he is not the Messiah everyone thought he would be? The econemy is stagnant and barely moving.The answer is not to raise the debt ceiling (which we are going to have to do again in the fall) or to throw more money at social programs and the expansion of the welfare state. He has taken his eye off the ball and has become focused on everything else....except righting the ship.

    July 22, 2013 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  4. PC is BS

    So Obama is actually going to do something related to his job? We should all be so grateful.

    July 22, 2013 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  5. idic5

    I wonder if he'll talk about the jobs bill that he thoroughly supports and only needs the House to vote on , and that is the comprehensive immigration bill, which contains some non immigration stuff that wd do massive increases to the guestworker visas for foreigners. So this would create millions of jobs for Indians, but non for americans. In fact, for the IT visa, H-1b , for example, mostly americans would LOSE the jobs they already have. This is s surreal alice in wonderland jobs bill.

    July 22, 2013 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  6. rwdragon86

    If Obama is now going to "refocus on the economy" then things will only get worse. I wish he would just stay at Martha's Vineyard until his term is up.

    July 22, 2013 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  7. rwdragon86

    Anyone filled up their car lately. I hope Obama doesn't "refocus" on energy prices or we are really doomed.

    July 22, 2013 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  8. Dar

    And everybody claps for 7.6% unemployment after 4 years of Obama over spending on crap jobs to make his self look like he knows what he is doing.
    Kind of been stuck here around the 7.6% for a while now haven't we. Starting to run out of the tax payers money also.
    Oh well, print some more money and keep handing it out dork. God help the next President when they have to reel in all of this foolish spending to keep the government running.
    Can you say tax hikes??? If you cant you better learn to.

    July 22, 2013 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  9. Francisco Decastro

    That's good Obama is focusing on the economy again. At least that's one thing thay we he is doing well, since we can see the economy did in fact make a u-turn for the better. If Congress would allow more laws by Obama to pass, the economy would be recovering at a fast pace. Obama should get some bills ready, because he can pass them in 2014, when Congress becomes democratic led since the republican led congress could not assist the country.

    Congress not once passed any bills that the citizens of this country were screaming to pass. The citizens voted for Obama for many things he promised, however, the republican led congress did not let 90% of the laws that Obama promosed to pass. The citizens know that Obama is not going back on his priomises, WE KNOW that it's congress that stops Obama to pass them. So, since congress do not work for the American people, even though we pay their salaries, we will choose a Congress that WILL work for us citizens.

    July 22, 2013 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  10. taxweary

    Sounds like the beginning of a joke..our president walked into a bar and told the bartender that after 5 years hes going to focus on the economy and stop dividing our country...funny huh?

    July 22, 2013 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  11. noneya

    because their part of the illuminate

    July 22, 2013 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  12. RogerD

    The definition of insane is trying the same thing over and over and getting the same result. Mr. President it is time to let go your failed policies and American entrepreneurs drive this country back to prosperity. You need to get your administration and their hold on government regulatory agencies out of the way quickly before we end up like Detroit.

    July 22, 2013 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  13. FedUpwithLA

    It's about time that you do such a thing, talk about the economy, that is, Mr President.

    July 22, 2013 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  14. Roy

    obama only spends more and never cuts spending.

    July 22, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  15. Not Impressed

    Gee reallly? What's the matter? Rating down again? Haven't we heard enough of his lies?

    July 22, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  16. Mike Texoma

    The President is pursuing the wrong policies, is it? And that is what is holding back job growth, it is? Like sequestration? Like rejection of the infrastructure bank? The miracle is, America is regaining its economic footing despite those fools.

    July 22, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  17. Al

    Think he will mention his beloved union-auto bailout Detroit?????? Think NOT!!! Obama knows NOTHING about economies!!! Remember he is a great community organizer. He needed to stay there in his corrupt hole.

    July 22, 2013 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  18. dork

    might be better if he talked of things like this instead of trying to split the country apart

    July 22, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  19. Anonymous

    The one thing Obama is truly good at is talking. Action not so much.

    July 22, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  20. Al Winston

    Oh, Good. He finally recognizes the economy is a problem. He can stop irresponsibly inciting race riots by commenting on the Trayvon Martin decision which was the responsibility of the judicial branch and not the executive branch, which he seems to have forgotten he's a part of.

    July 22, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  21. Jerry

    George bush was no prize as President but he sure loks good in comparison to this one..

    July 22, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  22. sc2wvu

    Wow, the president focusing on the domestic economy? What a novel idea!

    July 22, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  23. dave

    I didn't know there was an economic plan, other than the Bernanke thing giving free money to the rich. That's supply side economics, and it is working fine, the stock market is setting huge records, and gas is at all time highs. There's some big profits there, but no jobs, a jobless recovery, another one in a long series of them brought on by republicans and supply side economics. It's like we have only 2 Branches of Government, Executive and the Senate, while the House has done nothing for the economy, nothing but complain, which is really my job, they don't get elected to complain about the economy. For the time being, we will limp along with only 2 Branches, and millions will suffer because of it. The republican House has done absolutely nothing for the economy , in fact, tried, and succeeded, in making things worse.

    July 22, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  24. Tigas

    Is Obama going to brag about his record 54+ month of unemployment over 7%?

    July 22, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  25. Donkey Party

    Just imagine how much better off we would all be if the domestic-terrorist GOP wasn't standing in the way of progress.

    July 22, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
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