Obama to talk about economy at Knox College in Illinois

Obama to talk about economy at Knox College in Illinois
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POSTED: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 7:50pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 1:35pm

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 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 also will visit Warrensburg, Missouri, on Wednesday and travel to Jacksonville, Florida, the following day to speak again on the country's economic conditions. And 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."

Refeerring to the Knox College speech, Pfeiffer wronte that Obama will "talk about the progress we've made together, the challenges that remain, and the path forward."

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 also will include mention of the economic case for immigration reform, the official confirmed.

Pfeiffer's 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.

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Government unemployment figures are as fake as the dollar.

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