President Obama walks along the colonnade at the White House as he prepares for his final State of the Union Address. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
A stroll before his final State of the Union
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama walks along the colonnade at the White House as he prepares for his final State of the Union Address.
Obama will voice optimism in a State of the Union speech on Tuesday, his last before he is eclipsed by would-be successors campaigning on concerns about illegal immigration, terrorism and economic inequality.
The televised speech, in Congress, will be one of Obama’s few remaining chances to capture and hold the attention of millions of Americans before the election of a new president in November who will take office next January.
Scheduled for 9 p.m. ET (0200 GMT on Wednesday), Obama’s speech is expected to stick to themes he hopes will define his legacy but steer clear of new legislative proposals that his fellow Democrats are laying out on the presidential campaign.
In an NBC “Today” show interview broadcast on Tuesday, Obama was asked about his failure to unite Americans after a message of hope and change swept him into the White House in the 2008 election. “It’s a regret,” he said.
He took a swipe at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail where the billionaire real-estate tycoon has derided illegal immigrants.
“I’m pretty confident that the overwhelming majority of Americans are looking for the kind of politics that does feed our hopes and not our fears, that does work together and doesn’t try to divide us, that isn’t looking for simplistic solutions and scapegoating,” Obama said in answer to a question about Trump.
Asked whether he could imagine Trump as president giving his own State of the Union address, Obama said: “I can imagine it in a Saturday Night skit,” referring to the late-night Saturday Night Live television comedy show. But he added that “anything’s possible. And I think, you know, we shouldn’t be complacent.”