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. U LABY

    YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME BUDDY!! What about Trayvon, Nelson Mandela, and the rest of your African escapade. How did that help the unemployed?????

    July 21, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  2. Ken

    He's refocusing on the economy? What the heck has he been doing since the election in 2008??? That should have been his primary focus each and every dang day. Heck, Unemployment is still high, the number of people in part time jobs who can't find full time is at record levels, and people continue to give up and drop out of the labor market, leading to the first three year in a row decline in labor participation (percentage of the population actively trying to work) in history of the US (even the Great Depression only saw a two year decline before going back up). This man infuriates me!

    July 21, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  3. Name

    Focus on the economy? How about the 650,000 people taking a 20% pay cut because elected officials are unable to do their jobs? Seems that we have plenty of money for the defunct government of Egypt and to provide 7 Billion to Africa for electricity, but forget about middle class hard working Americans.

    July 21, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. abnguy

    Please do not focus your attention on the economy, it appears to be recovering despite the administrations attempts to socialize it.

    July 21, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  5. Kyle

    "Obama will hit the road again to talk about jobs and the economy"

    -Am I the only one who has realized it's been 5 years!? I mean stop talking about the economy and do something!

    July 21, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  6. UpsetVoter

    It would be helpful if the president realized how much money he wastes being on a permanent vacation. It costs an extreme amount of extra money for the president to travel and we still have to protect the White House while he is not there. I realize he does not want to face congress and really do the job as president, but we did not elect him to constantly travel at our expense. We are not an endless reserve of money for him to promise every country free money at our expense so he looks better to the rest of the world.

    July 21, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. Jabbadahut

    How about staying in DC and do your job from there

    July 21, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  8. Lib

    Only person working in Washington!!! Lazy congress still wasting our time and money. Fire them all! Thank you Mr. President

    July 21, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  9. Barnaby

    REFOCUSING?!? He hasn't done a thing for the economy in 4.5 yrs. everything he has done has stalled economic growth!

    July 21, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. roccoenzo

    Is he going to talk about the rampant crime and corruption in his home state too? CNN doesn't cover that kind of hard, realistic story, which is too bad.

    July 21, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  11. andrew butler

    What progress? I bet that is the short part of his speech lol

    July 21, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. Funnyier

    Good luck with that.

    July 21, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  13. Jason

    How many "pivots" back to the economy has he done during his tenure in office? ... Seems to me this is a pretty low priority agenda overall for his administration.

    July 21, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. nygard1

    Just what we DON'T need – more Obamanomics.....

    July 21, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. Lee Kaplan

    Too little, too late. We are at least 5 million jobs behind regular employment. Perhaps if he had thought about this during his first term (as Rahm Emanuel begged him to do), fewer lives and families would have been destroyed.

    July 21, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. Guy

    Does he do anything other than campaign?

    July 21, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. Wayne Warner

    He'll be speaking "about the progress we've made together." That shouldn't take too long.

    July 21, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. Booby

    He should have been talking about the economy years ago.

    July 21, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. sophistry

    I don't think the President gets it on the economy. It's not something you just give a speech about. But typically when he talks about it, he can't acknowledge his own failure to spark tangible growth, especially on jobs. So his usual speech starts by blaming W/, peaks by bragging about what little he's accomplished and ends by blaming R congress.

    Really interesting President.

    July 21, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    Oh, goodie. He's going to refocus laser-like on the economy again, do a swift pivot, and reset the conversation...hasn't he said this, like, at least 100 times?

    July 21, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. Mitch

    If Obama had an economy it would probably look like Detroit.

    July 21, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. FubarObama

    Refocus..??? When has he focused?

    July 21, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  23. liar liar

    Obama is only concerned about his own personal economy. He's a liar in every way someone can be a liar. Obama wishes he was Kennedy and Mooshell wishes she was Jackie. But Mooshell is a horse, and Obama is a snake.

    July 21, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  24. bergus

    how's he going to do that while he's on vacation ... AGAIN?

    July 21, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  25. Cynthia

    The economy is still awful if you make less than 250000. Obama has proved no different than Bush. He is a President for the rich. He just supports different groups of rich people than Bush did, such as union bosses, those in parts of the media, the Hollywood left, and the Northeast elite. He is a man of the rich!

    July 21, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
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