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Biden to key swing states as Obama raises money

January 11, 2012|By Peter Nicholas
  • President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden take part in a roundtable discussion on jobs in Washington, D.C.
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden take part in a roundtable discussion… (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty…)

As the Republican presidential candidates traipse through the early primary and caucus states, President Obama and Vice President Biden are keeping a tight focus on a handful of swing states that are among the biggest prizes in the 2012 general election contest.

Obama and Biden are keeping an official travel schedule that conveniently plunks them in battleground states that may decide the election.

Biden will head to Ohio on Thursday to talk about a bread-and-butter issue for the middle class: making college more affordable. On Friday, he’ll appear in the Philadelphia suburbs for a similar speech.

Winning Ohio and Pennsylvania, of course, would propel the Obama campaign far down the road toward the magic number of 270 electoral votes.

The Obama campaign has identified Ohio as one of several possible pathways to reelection – part of a Midwest strategy that also includes Iowa. Obama flew to Ohio just last week, his 17th trip to the state since becoming president.

A president’s time isn’t limitless, of course, which makes Biden an important surrogate. On Tuesday night, as Republican Mitt Romney notched an easy victory in the New Hampshire primary, Biden spoke by phone to New Hampshire supporters gathered at 25 house parties across the state. He took aim at Romney.

The “bargain’’ between society and struggling middle class families, Biden said, has been “broken.’’

"Listen to Mitt Romney,’’ Biden said. “He has no idea the bargain even exists, let alone is broken. How else can you say the best way to fix the financial crisis is by letting it all go down to the bottom?"

It may seem the Obama reelection campaign is fully cranked up, but the White House says that’s not so.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday on Air Force One, as Obama flew to Chicago for a trio of campaign fundraising events and an unannounced visit to his campaign headquarters, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said: “At this point in time the president remains focused on his No 1. job, which is serving the American public as the president of the United States… There will be a time and a place for the reelection campaign to be fully engaged, but we’re not there yet.”

peter.nicholas@latimes.com


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