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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid