WASHINGTON — President Obama will follow up his State of the Union address next week with a three-day, five-city swing through electoral battleground states.
The White House announced Wednesday that Obama will make stops in Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan next week to sell his election-year agenda, which likely will focus on jobs.
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to offer more details on Obama’s speech to Congress so as not to get ahead of the president.
But administration officials have identified just one major priority for the president in dealing with lawmakers this year — an extension of the payroll tax holiday through the end of 2012.
Otherwise, the White House has made no secret of plans to use Congress as a foil this year, while the president pursues unilateral action through his executive authority.
“He is fiercely focused on economic growth and job creation, and using every tool available to him,” Carney told reporters Wednesday.
Carney downplayed the political significance of Obama’s itinerary next week — all in states that the president is likely to contest fiercely this year.
“Every president should travel across the country to meet with Americans in as many states as possible,” he said.
Obama travels to Florida on Thursday for an announcement about the tourism industry at Disney World, a little more than a week before Republicans there will vote in a presidential primary. His stop in the Las Vegas area next week also precedes that state’s Republican caucuses.
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said Obama has “abandoned governing and is in complete campaign mode.”
“He isn’t even trying to hide it anymore — President Obama’s number-one priority is saving his job and he doesn’t care how many taxpayer dollars it takes to do it,” she said in an emailed statement.
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