President’s Speech Will Tackle Entitlement Reform, Aides Say

National Journal

Top campaign aides to President Obama said that in his speech on Thursday night, the president will discuss deficit reduction and entitlement reform.

Stephanie Cutter, appearing on CNN’s Starting Point on Thursday, said, “I think you will hear the president lay out his plan of balanced deficit reduction where everybody pays their fair share and we cut what we don't need and that includes entitlement reform.”

Earlier, she said:  “I think you will hear him talk about the types of decisions we need to make as a country if we want to get our debt under control and do it in a way that will unleash growth and help the middle class grow.”

Obama senior campaign advisor David Axelrod said Obama will offer some new elements to his consistent theme that the way to take the country forward is by rebuilding and growing the middle class.

“The president will talk about where we have to go as a country,” Axelrod said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “There will be new elements in the speech … in terms of ideas that people hear that they may not have heard before, but the fundamental argument remains the same, which is there are certain things we have to do to grow. There are certain commitments we have to make as a country to grow, and he will make that case.”

With former President Clinton helping to recast what has happened over the last four years,  Axelrod added, Obama will focus on the future.

“President Clinton cleared a lot of underbrush out of the way for us last night and, you know, the president has an opportunity to talk about how we lift the country, how we rebuild the middle class, the things we have to do together to achieve a kind of future that people are looking for,” he said.

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