Axelrod: Growing economy is ‘larger priority’ of second term

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Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod suggested Sunday that the president would take a broad approach to the nation’s economic woes, beyond the upcoming set of fiscal crises facing Washington.

“There's a larger priority of which this is part, which is, how do you create an economy, rebuild an economy, in which the American Dream, the American compact, is fresh, where people who work hard feel like they can get ahead?” said Axelrod on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The White House and Congress are faced with a number of fiscal challenges in the weeks ahead, from raising the nation’s borrowing limit to avoiding a set of sequester cuts slated to take effect on March and finding a way to continue funding the government.

Axelrod, though, said that beyond budget battles, much remained to be done to continue restoring the nation’s prosperity. 

“That's not just about dealing with the fiscal crisis, it's about education, it's about research and development, it's about controlling our energy future. All of these are part of the equation,” he said.

President Obama officially began his second term on Sunday, after he was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in a short White House ceremony. The president will take his public oath on Monday.

In addition to the budget fights, Obama is pushing for new gun-control measures, which many Republicans have vowed to oppose, and says he will make immigration reform a priority early in his second term.