State of the Union at 9 p.m. tonight - Feb 12th, 2013 - National
— The American public will get rhetoric and imagery in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. The speech will contain a heavy dose on the economy and play out against a visual backdrop dominated by the nation's current debate over guns.
Obama this evening will make a case for measures and proposals that he says will boost job creation and put the economy on a more upward trajectory. But in the audience will be many Americans invited to the witness the speech because of their experience with gun violence.
That confluence of message and symbolism illustrates where Obama is in his presidency following his re-election.
His economic blueprint represents unfinished business. The gun debate, spurred by the December tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is part of his new agenda.
— Republicans plan to cast President Barack Obama's second-term agenda as more "big government" and offer a series of proposals to boost economic growth and reduce the federal debt.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address tonight. He says Republicans will pursue policies that would create jobs for middle-class families, tame the federal debt and hold down future spending.
He says Republicans "don't just want to be the opposition. We want to be the alternative."
Rubio will deliver his address in both English and Spanish. It comes as Republicans say the party needs to do more to attract Latino voters. Obama won 71 percent of Hispanic voters last year against Republican Mitt Romney.