President Barack Obama’s staff has announced that he’s going to give some speeches on the stalled economy, as his polls slide amid bad economic news and political scandal.
“The President thinks Washington has largely taken its eye off the ball on the most important issue facing the country,” said Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s top communications advisor, who has spent the last seven months helping the president evade scandals, argue about guns, talk about racism and push for a massive inflow of new immigrant workers.
“Too many in Congress are trying to score political points, refight old battles, and trump up phony scandals,” Pfeiffer said in a Sunday evening email, which began “I don’t usually write emails like this.”
The president’s speeches are intended to “chart a course for where America needs to go — not just in the next three months or even the next three years, but a steady, persistent effort over the long term to restore this country’s basic bargain for the middle class,” said Pfeiffer.
GOP officials were dismissive. “Speeches don’t hire people. Speeches don’t get things done in Congress… When will the president roll up his sleeves and figure out how to work with Congress?” said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.
Obama will give three speeches this week, starting Wednesday, July 24, at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
The pending speeches will reprise the “vision” in Obama’s prior speeches, said Pfieffer’s email.
“It’s a vision he carried through his first campaign in 2008, it’s a vision he carried through speeches like the one he gave at Georgetown University shortly after taking office that imagined a new foundation for our economy, and one in Osawatomie, Kansas on economic inequality in 2011 — and it’s a vision he carried through his last campaign in 2012,” Pfeiffer said.
The speeches will “touch on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America: job security, a good education, a home to call your own, affordable health care when you get sick, and the chance to save for a secure, dignified retirement,” Pfeiffer said.
“The point is to chart a course for where America needs to go — not just in the next three months or even the next three years, but a steady, persistent effort over the long term to restore this country’s basic bargain for the middle class,” Pfeiffer claimed.
The speeches may also help Obama offer an economic pitch for the 2014 election, in which he will try to help Democrats win a majority in the House.
The speeches comes as his political clout is undermined by bad economic news, scandals and shaky poll numbers, but prior to a series of high-profile budget showdowns with the House GOP.
Since Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, the percentage of Americans working has slid from 65.7 percent to 63.5 percent.
The U-6 unemployment rate has remain stuck, at 14.2 percent in January 2009, and now 14.3 percent in June 2013, partly because many new jobs are either part-time, or have been won by the current immigration inflow of 1 million people per year.
The national debt has risen from $9.8 trillion in January 2009 to $16.9 trillion today.