Tags: State of the Union 2014 | jarrett | obama | sotus | optimistic

Valerie Jarrett: Obama SOTU Speech 'Very Optimistic'

By Wanda Carruthers   |   Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 10:12 AM

President Barack Obama "will make clear" in his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening he's prepared to take action "on his own" on his legislative priorities if Congress does not, presidential aide Valerie Jarrett told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"(President Obama) will continue to push Congress to pass major pieces of legislation," Jarrett said Tuesday. "But, he also will make clear tonight he will take action on his own."

The president will deliver a "very optimistic speech" about "creating opportunity" in his State of the Union address, Jarrett explained. She defended the president's intent to take independent action if he felt it was necessary, stating Americans were "hungry for action."

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A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed 63 percent of respondents said they thought the country was on the wrong track. Only 16 percent responded they were optimistic or confident about the president's second term.

Addressing the president's flailing popularity, Jarrett maintained he had "never paid a lot of attention to the poll numbers."

She said his enthusiasm was for supporting "hard working Americans," and explained that, even though many of his priorities had not been accomplished, he doesn't just "give up."

"You just keep coming back at it again and again. And, you do what you can to take action on your own, so that you aren't simply waiting for Congress," she said.

President Obama will continue to try to work with lawmakers, as he has done since first taking office, Jarrett maintained. She called upon Congress "to decide they want to actually get something done and compromise and work with us."

"From day one, the president has reached out on both sides of the aisle to Congress," she said. "The president will continue to work with Congress."

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