Robert Gibbs was just on This Week stating unequivocally that the president will outline and push for the public option in Wednesday's speech and that the president still strongly supports this as a component of healthcare reform. Video soon.
Gibbs wouldn't discuss any veto threats, but said without hesitation that the president will endorse the public option in Wednesday's speech.
This appears to contradict this rumor and others, especially the rumor indicating that the president wasn't going to mention the public option at all in the speech.
Whether Gibbs says it's "essential" or not really doesn't matter. What matters at this point is that the president will continue to push for it, and this will strengthen the position of public option supporters in Congress.