As the president has exhibited in his previous State of the Union addresses, he spent considerable time talking about the need for continued support of business growth and a strong labor market.

Obama told one example of a warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio -- a manufacturing town that helped his re-election bid -- that had once been shuttered but has since been converted into a "state-of-the-art" 3D printing lab.

But with the impending struggle over the sequester and tension among Democrats and Republicans on gun reform, there were enough moments in Obama's State of the Union address that his opponents see him as a president bent on a liberal policy agenda.

"Economies don't grow on intentions," said Patrick Arnold, a Republican consultant at Arnold Group Communications. "America needed an address that called out Congress with feet to the fire. Instead, they learned about 3D printing."

Maybe the president figured it was an uplifting alternative to the typical Wall Street rhetoric.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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