ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – President Barack Obama travels to the Midwest today, using stops in Warrensburg, Missouri and Galesburg, Illinois to bolster his economic agenda.

The president is expected to highlight a new state program that fast-tracks students to college degrees when he visits the campus of the University of Central Missouri.

Obama will also take the opportunity to try to refocus the public on the economy, arguing in a new series of economic speeches that building the middle class will boost the nation’s bottom line.

CBS News Political Director John Dickerson says the president has used this tactic before.

“The problem for the president is, he’s tried this time and again,” he says. “Remember, he’s made this the centerpiece of his campaign, of State of the Union addresses. So it is an old fight and the question is, will it be moved by public speeches or is it really about negotiations in Washington and working with those Republicans and that’s not going to be changed by a public relations campaign.”

The White House says the president’s speech in Illinois will be similar to the one he gave eight years ago.


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