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. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    This President knows nothing about the economy!

    July 22, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  2. Rob

    Break out the sippie cups... more Kool-aid on the way .... Drink up !

    July 22, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  3. bob

    Well , here he goes off talking about something he doesn't even understand and basically has not given any attention to for what over 5 years, this guy is a loser and the great divider! I cannot even watch him anymore as the appearance of his ugly mug sickens me , spewing lies and more lies

    July 22, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  4. j

    Shouldnt this have already been happening? Oh wait, he had to stop and comment about a state case that didnt concern him

    July 22, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  5. splassher6

    talking about jobs and the economy? Whats tlkaing got to do with it? Fix it and stop race baiting

    July 22, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  6. People are Out Of Touch with reality

    he has to say something so everybody will think he is actually working, but there is another vacation planned at marthas vineyard for the wanna be dictator.

    July 22, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  7. Anonymous

    President Obama is killing jobs faster than new jobs can be made. In his campaign speeches he said clean coal would be used, but now him, and E.P.A. are closing so many Power Plants, and loosing so many jobs that are coal related, these jobs can never be replaced, some States will not survive. He will not let us drill for oil, but wants more people for fewer jobs. Health care is about ready to sky rocket along with electricity, and oil. I am not sure the other party is any better, this country is far down, we need new faces.

    July 22, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  8. Chris Koffend

    Campaign season starting already. If not for campaigns, this President would never even think about the economy.

    July 22, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  9. William

    Yea, I bet, anything to get away from all these scandals over the past 5 years. And just what is he going to force on? How much more he can get this country in debt? How much more he can destroy this nation and its people? Don't worry CNN, you just keep putting lipstick on that there pig. Its pretty if you say it is.

    July 22, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  10. YeahRight

    Knox college is an upper-crust private liberal arts school where not a single student needs to worry at all about the economy, because they are all the sons and daughters of bankers, executives, and consultants, and they all have cushy management jobs waiting for them at Daddy's firm when they finally get their degrees in Art History.

    July 22, 2013 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  11. Jerry

    After almost 6 years at the helm. Wow! Way to go Mr. Obama. Also, don't forget that if you had a city it would look like Detroit!!!

    July 22, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  12. idb

    Refocusing? He never focused on the economy in the first place? So far this presidency has been a collection of diversion and lies.

    July 22, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  13. Jenny

    Didn't someone say "It's the economy, stupid!" over 20 years ago? Apparently, no one listened.

    July 22, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  14. frank landa

    He will talk about new jobs for tax collectors and gun confiscators and government agents to listen in to your phone conversations.

    July 22, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  15. John

    This is at least the third time that we have heard that Obama is focusing on the economy. Maybe third time's a charm, bu tI won't hold my breath.

    July 22, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  16. nelbert

    Ah yes, I remember it well. It was the winter of 2009. Obama and his aides promised repeatedly to "focus like a laser" on the economy. It became a mantra almost like hope and change. He even created a special blue-chip Jobs Council made up of CEOs, policy wonks and organized labor representatives to come up with new ideas for jobs.
    But pal Obama has a bit of an attention deficit problem. More distractions than you can shake a stick at: Obamacare, beer summits, golf, his "evolution" on same-sex marriage, the Muslim Brotherhood, Trayvon, ... the list goes on and on. While the unemployment rate did come down from a high of 10%, the rate when Obama began his second term was the same as when he first took office in January 2009 – 7.8%. And we're still perilously close to that number at 7.5% (ironic that Obama was critical of 5.6% back in 2004). 54 months with an unemployment rate at 7.5 percent or higher – the longest stretch of unemployment at or above that rate since 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics started calculating the national unemployment rate.
    Yep, ol' "Laser Beam" Obama, hot on the job.

    July 22, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  17. watash60

    obama refocuses or just talks about all his number 1 priorities and then does NOTHING. Brain dead liberals eat this up and the takers do not care until the checks stop coming.

    July 22, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  18. Name Uche Agonsi

    Just as the President should be given the right to pick his staff, he deserves to be given the opportunity to effect his/ the party's economic policy. This issue should be addressed seriously by the Congress before it throws the country into unwanted chaos. There is a need for a ruling party to be able to put into effect its desired economic programs, at least. What happens after that would then be grounds to criticising the President or the party. The current practice whereby opponents of an Administration would deliberately frustrate the President's policies only to turn back to blame his regime for non performance, not only has become a source of serious concern to the whole world( economically ), but equally hurt the American people.

    July 22, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  19. TONE

    Mr President keep up the good work sir.

    July 22, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  20. Robert Budahl

    I voted for President Obama twice and we have made significant progress in recovery. I hope he continues his strong leadership. We saved the auto industry....banking reform...healthcare reform and much more. I just wish things were as they were when Bill Clinton had a budget surplus and even paid down the debt. And with a Republican congress. Bill is and always be my favorite President.

    July 22, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  21. rwdragon86

    Who is John Galt?

    July 22, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  22. Malory Archer


    obama refocuses or just talks about all his number 1 priorities and then does NOTHING.


    Right on watash! He should do like rethug presidents and run roughshod over the opposing party, and when they whine and cry he should tell them that if they're "agin' him, they're agin' the troops" while his supporters accuse the opposition of treason and even suggest harm should come to them so they learn to be afraid.

    July 22, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    watash60 wrote

    obama refocuses or just talks about all his number 1 priorities and then does NOTHING.
    How can Pres. Obama do anything when almost every Republican in the Congress had dedicated themselves to making sure that he got nothing done? How can the right blame the "Obama agenda" for the country's slow economic recovery when almost every Republican is dedicated to making sure that the 'Obama agenda" does not move forward? When the right blames Pres. Obama for doing NOTHING, aren't they really patting themselves on the back for "Mission Accomplished"?

    July 22, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. tom l.

    What happened to the summer of recovery?

    July 22, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  25. tom l.

    You say that the Republicans were dedicated to him getting nothing done but he passed the ACA, the Financial Reform Act, the "Stimulus" and several other bills that he wanted. Plus he did some things on his own like the Dream Act, repealing DADT, etc. He has accomplished plenty. Unfortunately, for us Americans, none of it worked.

    July 22, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
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