Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) over the weekend offered a tongue-in-cheek "welcome" to President Obama, who plans to visit her home state on Thursday to promote his economic agenda.
"Welcome to Tennessee," she said. "While you're here take a look around because this is what a thriving economy looks like.
Republicans and Democrats will both press the need for job creation and a growing economy in the run-up to the November election, but they have vastly different ideas on how to reach that goal. Those differences are likely to be displayed during Obama's State of the Union speech, and Obama's followup remarks this week in Tennessee, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Obama is expected to call for an increase in the minimum wage and more job training programs, but is also expected to say he'll do some of these things on his own, without congressional approval. Republicans may balk at Obama's use of Executive Branch powers, and many like Blackburn will continue to say the best way to create jobs is to get the government out of people's way.
Blackburn said a smaller state government is what has allowed her home state to succeed.
"We have the lowest debt ratio in the entire country, have been ranked the top state for Automotive Manufacturing Strength for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year, are continually ranked as the number one state in the country for retirement and are largely considered one of the best states in which to practice medicine," she said.
She also said Tennessee has had its own run-in with govenrment-managed healthcare, which the state survived.
"TennCare tried to bankrupt our state just like how Obamacare promises to do the same for the rest of the country," she said. "Instead of letting the program ruin our economy, we banded together, made tough decisions and survived TennCare similar to how we will eventually survive Obamacare.
"So enjoy your time in Tennessee and for the sake of the rest of the country, try to take a little bit of the Tennessee Volunteer spirit with you back to the White House."