Economy to be focus in State of Union

By Julie Pace

The Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 9 2013 10:42 p.m. MST

FILE ? In this Jan. 24, 2012, file photo President Barack Obama reaches out to shake hands after giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington. Obama will center his upcoming Feb. 12, 2013, State of the Union address on boosting job creation and economic growth, underscoring the degree to which the shaky economy threatens his ability to pursue other second-term priorities, including immigration reform and climate change. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will focus his State of the Union address on boosting job creation and economic growth at a time of high unemployment, underscoring the degree to which the economy could threaten his ability to pursue second-term priorities such as gun control, immigration policy and climate change.

The president's prime-time State of the Union before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday marks his second high-profile speech to the nation in about three weeks, after his inaugural address Jan. 21 that opened his second term. White House aides see the two speeches as complementary, with Tuesday's address aimed at providing specifics to back up some of Inauguration Day's lofty rhetoric.

Obama previewed the address during a meeting Thursday with House Democrats and said he would speak "about making sure that we're focused on job creation here in the United States of America." Obama said he would try to accomplish that by calling for improvements in education, boosting clean energy production, and reducing the deficit in ways that don't burden the middle class, the poor or the elderly.

While those priorities may be cheered by some Democrats, they're certain to be met with skepticism or outright opposition from many congressional Republicans, especially in the GOP-controlled House.

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