Issues Front and Center at State of the Union

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Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Langer Research Associated President Gary Langer and America Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin discuss the State of the Union agenda. They speak with Al Hunt, Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

"political capitol." he's going in with a lot of concern about where he stands right now.

He has a 46% job approval rating, a little better than his career worst a few months ago but worse than one year ago and it's not great.

What do you do with that?

Yugo and your rally the troops, rally your 46% to storm the ramparts and get done the best he can for his side or does he try to conciliate and tried to build back to the majority support he had as recently as one year ago or tried to have the greater persuasive support?

How important is tonight's speech?

Very.

You have lots of social media, google, the like.

You can manage more attention than any other speech.

46% is in the middle of the tennis for.

At 50% you can say to get it done with a little bit of fear.

If you're down to 42%, you have to rally the base because that's all that's left.

There'll be a balance between both of those approaches tonight.

He was there only a couple of weeks ago so the tide has shifted.

What do you attribute that to?

The shift is small.

I see less disapproval for health care.

Maybe there is a tremendous residual effect of the rollout of health care which has gotten better.

Gary, i will yield to you.

I don't see any other dramatic event.

There's not a strong dynamic here.

A challenge for the president beyond his tepid approval rating is the economy.

Almost anywhere these speaks not about the economy -- collects income inequality.

The rich are getting richer -- income inequality.

If he does not address it, this is what america is concerned about.

55 are sent disapprove and he has not received a majority approval since november 2009. -- 55% disapprove.

His numbers have not improved at all.

It's about jobs and wages.

Both are so flat.

The might be an opportunity for some republicans.

The president is not getting enough credit for it.

He may try to get some of that tonight.

In the meantime, the income inequality debate, will the republicans try to seize that from him?

They will certainly talk about the need for growth and mobility, social mobility.

I think there a real problem on the ground.

It has shown very poor income growth down the stress on the ground is real.

He will say things about that tonight and point out the problem, promised to take action.

There's a big gap tween the problem and what he can do unilaterally.

That's his problem right now.

Isn't it important for him to own this problem of income inequality?

People are frustrated beyond belief.

If he does not put his arms around this, does he risk losing?

Is it people in poverty?

The middle class?

Wage stagnation?

It is all of the above.

What will the emphasis be?

I think it's likely to be a little bit more on economic mobility and stagnant wages for the middle class then it will be what republicans want with returning to class warfare.

Here's his problem.

What can he do?

He's going to raise minimum wage for government workers.

He has an economy pouring -- reforming poorly and all he can do is make government more expensive?

That's not going to sell.

Minimum-wage they will continue to hit hard on.

I don't know why you really should talk about expanding the earned income tax credit which was a republican idea with ronald reagan support.

Early childhood education that paul ryan talked about.

They are small but they can be done.

Wage and income inequalities through forest wage distribution gets to be problematic.

We ask to has a better idea of the right size and role of the government -- republican or democrat?

We are at a six point republican lead.

How does that compare to what we've seen?

It's gotten a little better for the republicans.

They took a hit at the government shut down just as obama did during the rollout that now we are back on an even keel.

Who do you trust more to handle the economy?

A seven point game for the republicans.

Legos back to my question to you, al.

What kind of effect does this have on it?

No matter how well or poorly he does, he will not hit the ball out of the park but these numbers will not change dramatically in another week for two.

He will play a role in setting that agenda and creating dialogue for the year.

If he does not do it effectively it will marginally hurt and he cannot afford any these days.

We are looking forward to all of it.

How you will be here beside me

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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