President Obama is taking his fiscal campaign around the country, with his first stop to Hatfield, Pa.
Yet during Tuesday’s briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked why the president is starting in Pennsylvania -- which at one time was considered up for electoral grabs -- instead of a state that might have been less hyper-aware of the debate over economic issues in which Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney were embroiled.
“This conversation about fiscal issues has been had during the months and months of the campaign. But the president only visited seven to 10 swing states,” Washington Post correspondent David Nakamura noted, asking why the president wasn’t visiting a deeply red state.
Pushing back on Nakamura’s premise, Carney cited the president’s speech on December 6, 2011 –- almost a year ago -- in Osawatomie, Kan., where Obama rolled out what was to be the premise of his campaign: higher taxes for the wealthy and continued lower rates for the middle class.
“This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class,” Obama said at that speech, premiering a line often heard on the trail. But since talk of the fiscal cliff really heated up in Washington, the president hasn’t done any outside-the-Beltway campaigning beyond states highlighted in “path to 270” electoral vote maps.
That doesn’t mean the president’s words in Pennsylvania won’t reach the ears of Americans elsewhere -- nor does it mean there isn't some political motivation. In fact, some of the areas in Pennsylvania surrounding Hatfield’s 13th Congressional District are represented by Republican members, meaning Obama could be traveling there to influence some potential crossover House votes.
Plus, Carney didn’t rule out the fact that Obama will be doing more travel in the future.
“The president will travel all around the country in his second term, and looks forward to it,” he said.