January 21st, 2010
05:46 PM ET

Obama to focus hard on economy after Democratic loss

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/21/obama.economy/t1larg.obamabank.gi.jpg caption="President Obama delivers remarks on financial reform Thursday." width=300 height=169]

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

President Obama already was planning to put a heavy focus on jobs and the economy in next week's State of the Union address, but his top aides are signaling that pivot is going to be even sharper in the wake of the Democrats' stunning election defeat in Massachusetts.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs noted the president has been dealing with the financial crisis long before Tuesday's Senate race, but he acknowledged the administration could have done a better job of conveying that message to the public and will now redouble its efforts.

"The president works each and every day on making our economy stronger and putting us in a position to where we're creating jobs, businesses are hiring again," Gibbs said. "I can certainly assure the American people that that is the chief focus of the president of the United States."

That message, however, was at least partially obscured by Obama's heavy focus on overhauling health care for much of his first year.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Henry • Haiti
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