Responding to a new analysis published Monday, the White House denied charges that President Obama's "official business" trips (paid with taxpayer money) to presidential swing states were actually for campaign events. White House officials suggested that the study overlooks the fact that Obama "expanded the political map dramatically" in 2008, which created a notable spike in the number of battleground states.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which published the exposé, when the President jets to Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday to promote his jobs agenda ("official business") — including a renewal of a payroll tax cut — he will log his 56th event in a swing state this year, vaulting him well ahead of President George W. Bush’s record-breaking swing-state campaign drive in 2003. Obama’s excessive campaign politicking has been a magnet for Republican criticism, as conservative politicians and pundits criticize the President for exerting more effort toward his 2012 reelection campaign than toward working to fix the nation’s high unemployment and stagnant economic growth.
The Journal reported:
Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 17 of his third year in office, Bill Clinton held 40 events over 24 days in the battlegrounds of his time, according to data compiled by Brendan Doherty, a U.S. Naval Academy assistant professor who is widely viewed among political scientists as an expert on presidential travel. Over that same stretch, George W. Bush held 49 events in 34 days, drawing complaints from Democrats.
Mr. Obama has surpassed his predecessors in both categories; as of Nov. 17, he attended 54 events in 11 battleground states over 42 days. "Obama has certainly ramped up the volume," said Mr. Doherty, author of a forthcoming book called "The Rise of the President's Permanent Campaign."
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of President Obama waving from Air Force One: AP Images