WASHINGTON — Vilified by the Republicans who want his job, President Barack Obama says he will stand before the nation Tuesday night determined to frame the election-year debate on his terms, promising that his State of the Union address will offer an economic blueprint that will "work for everyone, not just a wealthy few."
In a video released Saturday to millions of campaign supporters, Obama said he will concentrate on four areas designed to restore economic security for the long term: manufacturing, energy, education, job training and a "return to American values."
The prime-time speech will be not just about the year ahead, but will try to make Obama's case for a second term.
"We can go in two directions," the president said. "One is toward less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for where I think we need to go: building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few."
That line of argument about income equality is emerging as a defining theme of the presidential race as Republicans are in their own fierce battle to pick a nominee to challenge Obama in the fall. By notifying the millions of supporters on his email list, Obama gave advance notice to his Democratic base and trying to generate an even larger audience for Tuesday's address.
The president's preview did not mention national security or foreign policy, and he is not expected to announce new initiatives on those front in a speech focusing on the economy.