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U.S. President Obama's travels called into question


16:04, November 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- As the election year approaches, U.S. President Barack Obama is traveling more and more to states that were considered as contentious in next year's presidential contest. The White House on Monday pushed back on the accusation, saying that Obama's travels had nothing to do with campaigning, and he is merely doing his job as president.

According to a report on Monday's Wall Street Journal, Obama will have logged his 56th event in a presidential battleground state this year when he visits Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday to promote his jobs package, putting him well ahead of the then President George W. Bush's record-breaking swing-state travel in 2003.

According to the paper, between Jan. 1 and Nov. 17 of his third year in office, Bill Clinton held 40 events in the battlegrounds of his time. Over that same stretch, George W. Bush held 49 events, drawing complaints from Democrats.

The White House, however, denied the accusation. Obama's Press Secretary Jay Carney said during his daily briefing on Monday that the trips were not politically driven. He said that as the election landscape shifts, it's not clear which states will be battleground next year. For example, In 2003 and 1995, Virginia wasn't a battleground state, so it wasn't included in the Bush and Clinton numbers.

"These are subjective assessments," he said of the comparisons.

Carney also said that many states were chosen because of their proximity to Washington, D.C. "He can't always go to the Mountain states or the Plains states or the West Coast," Carney said.


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