National and state Republican Party leaders are calling President Obama’s upcoming New York visit a lame duck bus tour.
President Obama kicks off his upstate New York tour with a visit to the University at Buffalo Thursday morning, one of two visits to a State University of New York school. He then heads to Henninger High School in Syracuse Thursday evening. Friday morning, he’s off to Binghamton University, another SUNY school, followed by Scranton, Pennsylvania, the hometown of Vice President Joe Biden. Biden is scheduled to join the president in Scranton. The tour is part of a series of speeches around the country by the president about helping the middle class and boosting the economy. Political experts say the tour is intended to help Obama reach agreement with congressional Republicans on the budget. New York Republican State Committee Chairman Edward Cox says Obama is visiting cities that exemplify the failure of Democratic policies.
Here’s Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Binghamton is in New York’s Southern Tier, where the debate over hydraulic fracturing is especially heated, as landowners say drilling leases would infuse much needed money into their pockets and local economy, and opponents say the environmental and health costs are either unknown or already detrimental in other states, like Pennsylvania, where drilling for natural gas is permitted. Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason says he doubts Obama will address fracking when he visits Scranton.
And New York’s Cox points out that Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is awaiting studies on the gas drilling method, is not accompanying the president.
Calls to several Democratic leaders were not returned in time for this broadcast. As for the 2016 presidential election, Cox says two names that have been bandied about – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Governor Cuomo – have the job-hungry upstate New York regions as lead weights - Clinton, because of her tenure as a U.S. Senator from New York.
President Obama has visited Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee, addressing needed investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and homeowner assistance.