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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs