"This is principally a speech about what's taking place in Iraq," Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told reporters, adding that the economy will be addressed in the "context of ending the war in Iraq" so "we can focus on our economy at home."
The president choosing to devote his primetime address to Iraq comes as ominous signs indicate the economic recovery is weakening.
Gallup on Monday reported that consumers have pulled back on shopping, spending an average of $61 per day as opposed to $68 in July and $67 in June. Experts in the housing sector also predict a hard road ahead as tax incentives fade. In addition, oil prices dropped Tuesday from concerns over the strength of the economy.
"He'll touch on the economy, but again, this is a speech that's about the end of combat mission in Iraq," Rhodes said.