News / USA

Obama Previews State of the Union Speech to Backers

Kent Klein

President Barack Obama has given Democratic Party supporters a preview of the main points of the State of the Union speech he will deliver on Tuesday.

The president did so in a in a video entitled “Blueprint For An America Built To Last," during which he states that Tuesday’s address will emphasize the need to make government and other institutions more responsive to lower- and middle-income Americans.

Watch the president's video

“This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and folks trying to work their way into the middle class," says Obama. "Because we can go in two directions. One is towards less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for where I think we need to go-building an economy that works for everybody, not just a wealthy few.”

Reducing income inequality is the main theme of the president’s re-election campaign, where he is positioning himself as a protector of the middle class, and opposition Republicans as defending the wealthy.

“And most importantly, a return to American values-a fairness for all and responsibility from all. They are big ideas because we have got to meet this moment. And this speech is going to be about how we do it.”

Mr. Obama’s calls for higher taxes on the rich have angered Republicans, who say that would hamper job creation and make unemployment worse.

The president is expected to call for initiatives that will require approval from Congress, where Republican opposition has been stiff.

Mr. Obama is calling his State of the Union address a “blueprint, saying it will take the values he laid out in his December speech in Kansas and provide details of how to achieve them.

“American manufacturing, with more good jobs and more products stamped with ‘Made In America.’ American energy, fueled by home-grown and alternative energy sources. Skills for American workers-getting people the education and training they need so they are ready to take on the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

About nine months before the election, Americans say the economy is their main concern. Public opinion polls show that more voters disapprove of Mr. Obama’s handling of the issue than approve it.

The preview video did not mention foreign policy, although it will certainly be addressed in Tuesday’s speech.

43 million people watched last year’s State of the Union address on television.

Immediately after the president’s address, the Republican response will be given by Mitch Daniels, governor of the Central state of Indiana.

The next day, Mr. Obama will leave for a three-day, five-state trip, in which he will promote his initiatives in politically important states. Among his stops will be Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, which have been hit hard by real estate foreclosures.

The president’s trip will conclude in Detroit, Michigan, the home of the U.S. auto industry, which is prospering nearly three years after Mr. Obama’s controversial government bailout.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More