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US President Barack Obama, pictured July 17, 2013 in Washington, DC/AFP


Obama defends economic vision, as battles loom

US President Barack Obama, pictured July 17, 2013 in Washington, DC/AFP

US President Barack Obama, pictured July 17, 2013 in Washington, DC/AFP

WASHINGTON, July 24 – President Barack Obama on Wednesday launched a ground campaign to defend his vision for the US economy, vowing to revitalize the American middle class in the face of a hostile Congress.

Obama was to travel to three cities Wednesday and Thursday to deliver a series of speeches on accelerating economic growth and creating jobs.

The president planned a robust defense of his stalled economic initiatives, which have been bottled up in the Republican led House of Representatives the branch of Congress responsible for managing the nation’s checkbook.

Obama’s top spokesman Jay Carney told US television that the two days of speeches, which come six months into his second term, will provide a blueprint “on where we need to move the economy, where we need to focus in Washington.”

The president’s first speech Wednesday is at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, which he first visited as a newly-elected senator eight years ago.

“It should be focused on what we can do to strengthen and grow the middle class because, when the middle class is thriving, when the middle class is growing, our economy is at its best,” Carney told MSNBC television.

“That’s what we need to do as we move forward in the 21st century.”

Obama’s efforts to reframe the debate over the economy comes with Congress also reloading for a new round of battles over raising the debt ceiling and other economic fights.

Obama and Republican lawmakers are bracing for renewed clashes over spending and the federal budget, which threaten to hurt an economy finally showing signs of stabilizing after tumbling into a deep economic trough.

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Republicans have dismissed Obama’s focus on the economy as an effort to seek more spending. “If the president was serious about helping our economy, he wouldn’t give another speech, he’d reach out and actually work with us,” House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday.

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