By DARLENE SUPERVILLE , The ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -- Aiming to show he's still focused on creating jobs, President Barack Obama is beginning a series of quick trips around the country to resurrect ideas from his State of the Union address that quickly became overshadowed by the intense debates over gun control, immigration and automatic spending cuts.
Obama on Thursday was dropping in on Austin, Texas, and using that bustling state capital as a backdrop to talk about attracting jobs, providing skills training and ensuring that hard work begets a decent living.
The president argued in February's State of the Union address that an economy that is growing and creating well-paying middle-class jobs must be the guiding principle for Washington policymakers. He proposed a broad expansion of pre-kindergarten to accommodate every 4-year-old, calling it a smart investment that will help improve educational outcomes, along with raising the federal minimum wage to $9 to help working families. Both ideas faced almost immediate resistance from some lawmakers who said the proposals cost too much and could stunt the economy, and Obama has barely discussed the proposals since then. (Read more)