Obama to stress jobs in State of the Union address; audience's message is guns

Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio to deliver GOP response

WASHINGTON - The American public will get rhetoric and imagery in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. The speech will contain a heavy dose on the economy and play out against a visual backdrop dominated by the nation's current debate over guns.

Obama on Tuesday evening will make a case for measures and proposals that he says will boost job creation and put the economy on a more upward trajectory. But in the audience will be many Americans invited to the witness the speech because of their experience with gun violence.

That confluence of message and symbolism illustrates where Obama is in his presidency following his re-election.

His economic blueprint represents unfinished business. The gun debate, spurred by the December tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is part of his new agenda.


GOP to label Obama agenda 'big government'

Republicans plan to cast President Barack Obama's second-term agenda as more "big government" and offer a series of proposals to boost economic growth and reduce the federal debt.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He says Republicans will pursue policies that would create jobs for middle-class families, tame the federal debt and hold down future spending.

He says Republicans "don't just want to be the opposition. We want to be the alternative."

Rubio will deliver his address in both English and Spanish. It comes as Republicans say the party needs to do more to attract Latino voters. Obama won 71 percent of Hispanic voters last year against Republican Mitt Romney.


First lady will host 102-year-old determined voter

A 102-year-old woman from Florida will be among the first lady's guests Tuesday as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before Congress.

Desiline Victor arrived in Washington on Monday after a weather-delayed flight from Miami. She is joining first lady Michelle Obama's guests as a symbol of a determined voter, and of the problems in America's voting system.

Victor waited three hours and made two visits to her precinct to vote for Obama last October, on the first Sunday of early voting in Florida. The state had reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to eight, and waits at Victor's North Miami precinct were as long as six hours.

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