"There's no more important question for this country than how do we create an economy in which everybody who works hard feels like they can get ahead and feel some measure of security," Obama said during a meeting of Organizing for Action Monday.
"It isn't to say that other issues are not important," he said. "But what we also know is, is that so many of the issues that we care about are more likely to progress if people feel good about their own lives and their economic situation."
He called his speech Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., a "thematic speech" that would be followed by a "series of more concrete proposals, some of which I've made before, some of which will be new."
"But the key is to try to make sure that this town refocuses on the issues that matter most to people day to day," he said.
He said he was excited about his speech Wednesday because "it gives us an opportunity to refocus attention on the thing that the American people sent me to focus on."
"And some of the proposals that we've put forward are ones that are going to be very difficult to get through this Congress," Obama said, adding, "Of course, everything is very difficult to get through this Congress."
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