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February 12th, 2013
09:51 AM ET

NEC director Sperling: Fixing the economy 'isn't about coming up with new fads like the Frisbee or the Hula-Hoop'

This evening, President Obama will address the joint sessions of Congress for his "State of the Union" address. Sources are telling CNN that the White House views the speech as kind of a part two to the president's tough progressive inauguration speech.

Sources also say he will pivot back to talking about the economy, talking about your money. Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the President for economic policy, joins Soledad on "Starting Point" to preview President Obama's address.

"I think this president has always believed that a strong middle class is not only our goal for economic policy, it's also how we spark the engine of further economic growth," Sperling says. "You are going to hear him talking about how we make and continue to make the United States the magnet for strong job creation. For locating jobs that pay well that help families make a middle class living and that will focus on manufacturing, focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, small business, and very importantly, what we have to do to give our young people and current workers the skills they need to fit those jobs."

Soledad reminds Sperling that President Obama has made similar promises in all of his previous State of the Union addresses, and asks what is different this time around.

"This isn't about coming up with new fads like the Frisbee or the Hula-Hoop," he says. "It's about what are the ingredients each and every year for what makes us a magnet for the strongest jobs. I don't think the American people want us to lose our focus and attention."

He adds, "Let's remember, we've gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to having seen our private sector create 6 million jobs in the private sector over the last 35 months. So things are getting better, they are not good enough, and he will keep pushing on the economic things that matter to middle class families that strengthen the middle class, that spark our economy."

He also addresses the question of sequestration. Watch more in the video clip above.

Filed under: Economy • State of the Union • Uncategorized
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