Obama tight-lipped on State of the Union speech


by Reuters

  • About
  • Export
  • Add to

STORY: Walking through the White House colonnade with his chief of staff hours ahead of his State of the Union address on Tuesday (February 12), U.S. President Barack Obama gave no clues as to what the speech would contain.

"Mr. President, how is the speech?" a reporter asked.

"We will find out tonight," Obama replied.

"What about North Korea?" another reporter asked.

"We will find out everything I have got to say tonight. In the meantime, enjoy the great weather," Obama said.

Obama's speech at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday (0200 GMT Wednesday) - an annual event in which the president lays out his policy priorities for the year - will be a chance for him to build momentum within that tight time frame.

On foreign policy, Obama will outline steps to unwind U.S. involvement in the unpopular Afghanistan war and plans to announce that 34,000 U.S. troops will return by early 2014, a source familiar with the speech told Reuters.

Invited guests to the speech this year reflect the pressing issues facing Congress and Obama, who is expected to focus on the economy as well as immigration and gun control.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio - a Republican Cuban-American who is championing immigration reform albeit with a more restrictive process of legalization than Obama supports - will give his party's response to Obama's speech.