Friday, September 10, 2010

Obama to tout economic strategy in press conference

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will Friday step up his mid-term election campaign and appeal to voters dismayed by the stuttering economy with his first White House press conference since May.

Obama scheduled the appearance at 11:00 am (1500 GMT) to press home the case on his recovery plans, but the event may be overtaken by the fast-moving controversy over a Florida pastor's on-hold threat to torch the Koran.

The president's appearance comes at the end of a week in which Obama has tried to reframe the political climate ahead of November's congressional polls in which his Democrats fear heavy losses.

He admitted in a television interview Wednesday that his party would not do well in the election if it became a judgment on the state of the economy in the wake of the worst financial meltdown in decades.

"If the election is a referendum on are people satisfied about the economy as it currently is, then we're not going to do well," Obama told ABC News.

"I think everybody feels like this economy needs to do better than it's been doing," Obama said.

"My challenge, and the challenge of every Democratic candidate who's out there is just making sure the people understand there's a choice here."

A Quinnipiac University poll published on Thursday made uncomfortable reading for the administration, with voters disapproving of his handling of the economy -- the major election issue -- by 56 to 39 percent.

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