President Obama will address a joint session of Congress at 7 p.m. Thursday to lay out his plans to create jobs to help boost the economy.
House Speaker John Boehner announced the timing of the speech in an e-mail to reporters. Obama had sought to speak next Wednesday, but Boehner, citing scheduling conflicts on the House’s first day back in session after summer recess, invited Obama a day later instead.
The 7 p.m. start time of the address means Obama won’t have to compete with the National Football League’s season opener between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, which will draw millions of viewers. But the president also will not be able to speak in prime time.
Obama’s initial attempt to speak Wednesday was roundly denounced by Republicans because it was at the same time as a long-scheduled Republican presidential candidates debate in Simi Valley, Calif.
“I guarantee you that there was no interest in or concern about trying to overshadow the Republican debate,” David Axelrod, now an outside political adviser to the White House, said in an interview Thursday. “I’ve seen the Republican debates and I hope everyone watches them. I think it will be helpful to us if they do.”
Obama said he will lay out a plan to jump-start the economy through job creation at a time when unemployment is at 9.1 percent. Polls show Obama’s approval rating hovering at just under 40 percent, the lowest of his presidency.