Sept. 9 - President Barack Obama, seeking to rescue a faltering U.S. economy and his own re-election prospects, began an uphill battle on Friday to win Republican support for a $447 billion jobs plan. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Barack Obama, seeking to rescue a faltering U.S. economy and his own re-election prospects, began an uphill battle on Friday to win Republican support for a $447 billion jobs plan. The proposals, weighted toward tax cuts for workers and businesses, was carefully crafted to appeal to middle-class voters who gravitate toward the political center. A day after unveiling his ideas on Capitol Hill, Obama pitched the plan directly to Americans in a speech at Virginia's Richmond University, kicking off a months-long campaign to promote the package across the country. The White House sees Obama's plan -- a mix of payroll tax cuts and spending to upgrade roads, bridges and schools -- as the best hope for reducing the 9.1 percent unemployment rate that threatens his presidency. Early estimates suggested it could lift U.S. growth by 1 to 3 percentage points in 2012, lower the unemployment rate by at least half a percentage point and add well over 1 million jobs. With his on-the-road messaging, Obama hopes to rally enough support to pressure Republicans to get behind the plan so that can start to lower unemployment before voters make up their mind about who to support in November 2012. Obama will send the jobs plan legislation to Congress next week but it may take months for lawmakers to work through it.