RNC chairman: Obama itinerary proves he’s playing politics with job plan

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus lashed out Tuesday at President Obama’s road trip to key swing states to build support for his jobs proposal, drawing a contrast between Obama’s pledge to take his plan to people all across the country and his actual itinerary. 

“It turns out he’s using it for political purposes,” Priebus said on a conference call with reporters. “We all get the joke.” 

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Obama traveled on Friday to Virginia — home of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) — and on Tuesday is in Ohio — home of Speaker John Boehner (R) — to rally support for the jobs creation package he pitched to Congress last week. He will make another stop at North Carolina State University on Wednesday. 

All three are swing states Obama won in 2008 and all are important to his reelection. 

“I don't think anybody should be surprised he's not stopping in North Dakota and Montana and Alaska to sell his ‘Stimulus 2’ package,” Priebus said. 

Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine said Obama’s plan should get proper consideration, but that if he’s serious about bipartisanship, he should give equal consideration to Republican ideas on how to spur economic growth. 

“He has a very steep hill to climb when it comes to redeeming his credibility on job creation,” DeWine said. 

Obama’s job plan occupies the delicate and muddled space between a policy issue and a campaign issue. Although the election is more than a year away and Republicans haven’t yet picked their candidate to run against Obama, the election is already poised to be at least in part a referendum on the economy and on Obama’s efforts to dig the country out of recession. 

The Democratic National Committee has already launched an ad campaign promoting the $447 billion jobs package, using clips of Obama’s speech to Congress. Meanwhile, Republican campaign groups have been pushing the message that the plan represents another attempt by Obama to spend on government programs without paying for it.