The White House has frequently said the former Massachusetts governor would revive the policies of Republican President George W. Bush, including lax financial regulation and budget-busting tax cuts that set the stage for economic crisis.
Obama rolled out a series of growth-boosting proposals in a speech to Congress last September and in his State of the Union address in January, including more spending on roads and bridges as well as aid to states to help them hire teachers and police officers.
But congressional Republicans have balked at most of those ideas, saying they would only add to the budget deficit without helping the economy regain momentum.
"The president has already laid out his vision in terms of what steps he thinks this Congress needs to take. Mitt Romney has not," said Jen Psaki, a former White House aide. "It's not a lack of plans or lack of vision. It's a lack of action by Congress."
After the Cleveland speech, Obama will travel to New York to visit the One World Trade Center site and then attend an exclusive fundraiser at the home of actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Parker, star of the television series "Sex and the City," could help the president reach out to women voters and young people, but the event also risked undercutting his efforts to connect with middle-class voters. Parker's glamorous image may be difficult to square with Obama's economic message.
Republicans have drawn attention to Obama's fundraisers with celebrities, including one last month with actor George Clooney, saying his preoccupation with hobnobbing with the elite had made him out of touch with the plight of Americans struggling with job losses and financial hardship.