Obama to Focus on Economy in State of the Union

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WASHINGTON -- After months of promoting an unpopular health care plan, President Barack Obama is expected to focus on the economy and jobs in his State of the Union address.

The president will be offering new measures he hopes will appeal to America's frustrated middle class.

Reconnecting With the American People

With the sting of last week's stunning Republican victory in Massachusetts still fresh and Independent voters turning against his agenda, Obama is trying to reconnect with the American people.

Click play for an update with CBN News Washington Correspondent John Jessup and analysis from Charles Dunn, dean of Regent University's School of Government.

In an effort to accomplish that, he's shifting the focus away from his controversial health care overhaul to an issue that polls show is the top concern for the average American: the economy.

Specifically, the administration will be concentrating on job creation and cutting the massive $1.35 trillion federal budget deficit.

"There aren't any magic solutions to it," Obama told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an interview Monday. "It's going to be a slow chipping away, and what I'm going to do is propose a series of measures that show we are serious about it."

Those measures include imposing a pay freeze for political appointees and senior White House staff.

It also includes a three-year domestic spending freeze the White House says will save the U.S. $250 billion over 10 years.

The president's proposal for a bipartisan commission that would push for tax increases and spending cuts died in the Senate. But he plans to create a similar panel by executive order that will also address the national debt.

However, Republican leaders say that is not enough.

"It's going it take a lot more than just this kind of modest freeze to get us back on the right track," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

Still, the White House intends to press ahead. Jobs and the economy are the top priorities for Americans and, for now, they're at the top of the president's agenda as well.

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CBN News
Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.