Obama's final SOTU to focus on optimistic future, aide says

Obama's final SOTU to focus on optimistic future, aide says
© Greg Nash

White House chief of staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughLive coverage: Justice IG testifies before House on report criticizing FBI Ex-Obama chief of staff: Obama's Russia response was 'watered down' Former Obama officials launch advocacy group aimed at Trump's foreign policy MORE says President Obama’s final State of the Union address will cast an optimistic tone about America’s future with respect to increasing economic mobility, robust national security and more representative democracy.

“He sat down with us and said, ‘Look, it’s time for us not to focus on the State of the Union as an issue for the upcoming election,’ ” McDonough said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“He wants to talk about the future of this country, he’s very optimistic about the future of this country,” he added.

McDonough said the president will highlight a recent report that shows the economy added 292,000 jobs last month.

“Last week, on Friday morning, we learned that 292,000 new jobs last month,” he said. “That’s the 70th month in a row of job growth in this country, the most — the quickest reduction of unemployment in decades, the fastest rate of job growth since the 1990s when there was another Democrat in the White House, by the way.”

“You’ll hear him talk about every American having a shot in this changing economy,” he added.

The longest serving chief of staff during Obama’s tenure, McDonough said the president will also encourage more middle-class Americans to participate in civic life.

“You’ll hear the president talk about making sure that every American has a chance to influence this democracy,” he said.

“Not the select few, not the millionaires and the billionaires, but every American. And when we draw on the strength of every American, the sky is the limit for this country, and we’re seeing that just now with the kind of job growth that we’ve seen.”