U.S. President Barack Obama will unveil a new economic blueprint during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, addressing a key issue as he faces a contentious re-election bid later this year.
Mr. Obama will deliver his third annual speech on the nations’ progress before a joint session of the U.S. Congress, and on television to an American public weary of the slow economic recovery.
In a video released ahead of his speech, Mr. Obama says he will present his vision for an economy that is “built to last,” including new proposals for manufacturing, clean energy and education, all of which he says benefit the country’s middle class.
Mr. Obama is expected to highlight the differences between himself and opposition Republicans in a speech laced with 2012 election campaign themes and reasons he deserves a second term in the White House.
The president said the U.S. is faced with two vastly different directions for the economy – “one toward less opportunity and less fairness,” or an economy that “works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.”
The president delivers his speech between two critical U.S. Republican presidential primaries in South Carolina last Saturday and Florida next week.
The Republican National Committee released a new television advertisement in time for the president’s Tuesday speech, focusing on what Republicans say is the Obama administration’s poor handling of the U.S. economy. The ad seeks to remind American voters that 13 million people are unemployed and that 49 million live in poverty.
Political analysts will watch closely to see what affect this year’s address will have on Mr. Obama’s public approval ratings, which, according to the Gallup polling organization, have averaged about 44 percent this year.