President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night will touch upon steps needed to grow the economy, private job creation and reducing government spending, a White House spokesman said.

The President's speech in prime time will center on the short, medium and long term steps the President believes need to take place to continue the economic recovery, press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters this week.

Competitiveness and innovation for jobs of the future - a theme he has touched upon in other recent speeches - is another theme in the speech, Gibbs said.

There will need to be a tightening of the belt around everything the government is doing to make progress on getting the nation's fiscal house in order, Gibbs said.

Gibbs said he wouldn't get into details when asked if Obama would defend the health care reform law Republicans are trying to repeal, or whether the President would bring up recommendations made by his deficit commission.

I'm not going to dip my toe deeply into the State of the Union preview pool, he said.