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Posted at 03:34 PM ET, 01/18/2012

Obama to follow State of the Union speech with election battleground states tour

President Obama will hit the road for a three-day, five-state tour after his State of the Union address Tuesday, stopping throughout campaign battleground territory that could be critical to his re-election chances.


President Obama makes the State of the Union address last year. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)

A day after Obama delivers his annual report to Congress, he will start his road trip by making remarks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before flying to Phoenix and then to Las Vegas, where he will spend Wednesday night.

White House officials said the president plans to start Thursday with an event in Las Vegas, then head to Denver and then Detroit, where he will spend the night. On Friday, he will speak in Detroit before returning to Washington.

The tour aims to amplify the president’s State of the Union message, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, though he declined to be specific about any new proposals Obama might make next week.

Generally speaking, Obama will show “he is fiercely focused on economic growth and job creation,” Carney said.

As was the case with the president’s fall jobs tour, his travel this year has been focused largely on states likely to be hotly contested in the presidential election.

This week, Obama will speak at Walt Disney World in Orlando on Thursday, announcing new executive actions to boost the tourism industry — just days before the Republican presidential primary candidates will arrive in Florida to stump for the Jan. 31 contest. His trip to Las Vegas comes ahead of the GOP’s Feb. 4 primary there.

As they did during the fall, White House officials dismissed the suggestion that the president’s travel was motivated by campaign politics.

“He goes to states all across the country, and every president should travel to meet with Americans in as many states as possible,” Carney said.

By  |  03:34 PM ET, 01/18/2012

 
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