Continued from page 1

Before the speech, former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove mocked the idea of another pivot to the economy.

“Now the White House says it’s going to once again pivot back to the economy. Frankly, they’ve pivoted so many times, the American people’s heads are bobbing around,” Mr. Rove told Fox News.

Mr. Haskins predicted that Mr. Obama wouldn’t spend enough time, talking about the real budget constraints facing the country: the dire need to make changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security in order to keep them solvent and help the country dig out of debt.

Early in his speech, Mr. Obama said only that he “is prepared to enact reforms” that will achieve the same amount of “health care savings” by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission, although he didn’t say exactly what those changes would entail.

“The question is whether the scope of the remedies he plans to outline will be equal to the scope of the problem,” Mr. Haskins said. “It seems that mismatch has been central in our politics for quite some time now.