Are Americans Better Off Now Than 4 Years Ago? Sen. Bob Casey: ‘I Don’t Know’

By Fred Lucas | January 25, 2012 | 5:35 PM EST


( – Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said Tuesday night -- “I don’t know” -- if President Barack Obama will, in the year ahead, be able to make the case to Americans that they are better off today than before he took office.

“We’ll see what happens,” he added.

Pennsylvania has been considered a swing state in past years.

After Obama delivered the State of the Union address Tuesday, asked Casey: “Do you think he will be able to make the case this year that Americans are better off now than they were before he became president?”

Casey first did not directly answer the question, but stuck to the themes of the president’s address.

“I think the main focus the president brought to this speech was a focus on jobs and making sure that we do things like extending the payroll tax cut for the rest of the year, making sure unemployment insurance is in place for the rest of the year,” Casey told

“If we take those steps and do it in a bipartisan way, making sure that Democrats and Republicans are working together, I think we’re going to have not only a better year, but more importantly a better economy and more job creation. That’s the key. And bringing people together, I think that’s part of the focus.”

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When followed with -- “Do you think he will be able to make the case about whether you were better off four years ago or not?” – Casey’s response was: “I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

He added, “One thing I know, what my job is as a member of the United States Senate representing Pennsylvania, is to try every day to focus on job creation strategies and try to bring people together to work on bipartisan solutions. It’s hard to do, but I think if we keep working on it, we’ll get it done.”

Casey, first elected in 2006, is up for re-election this year. He endorsed Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary