Obama to Shift Public Attention to Economy

The president is making a renewed effort to push for policies to grow the middle class, still struggling years after the financial meltdown.

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President Barack Obama plans to give a series of back-to-back speeches over the next two days aimed at pushing for policies to expand the middle class. The goal is to help people he says are still struggling years after the financial crisis, the Associated Press reports.

The talks come as Congress prepares to leave Capitol Hill next week for its monthlong recess. The speeches are also designed to increase public pressure on lawmakers to avoid showdowns over taxes and spending in the fall, the AP says.

Obama will use a series of back-to-back speeches over two days to take another stab at selling the public on his vision of a thriving economy.

The first of those speeches comes Wednesday when Obama visits the Midwest to speak at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., where he gave his first major speech as a freshman U.S. senator in 2005 during booming economic times. He is not expected to announce any new initiatives. The president also speaks later in the day at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. The third speech is set for Thursday at the Jacksonville Port Authority in Florida.

The White House is billing Obama's latest speech at Knox College as a major one, comparable in tone to the commencement address he delivered there eight years ago, also about the economy. Back then he talked about how the country can give every American a "fighting chance" in a 21st century transformed by technology and globalization.

Read more at the Associated Press.

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