Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama heads back to Ohio Friday, his eighth trip to the politically important state since assuming the presidency a year and a half ago.
The mission for this latest visit is to help kick off what the White House calls "Recovery Summer," a six week long push to highlight what the administration says will be a summer and fall of job creation fueled by a surge in federal stimulus spending across the country. Obama travels to Columbus, Ohio, to mark the groundbreaking of what's touted as the 10,000 Recovery Act road project to get underway.
The president was last in Ohio on May 18, when he defended the federal stimulus and tore into political opponents for what he claimed is political hypocrisy and a defense of failed policies. Obama spoke at a steel pipe plant in Youngstown, Ohio that used funds from the Recovery Act to add more than 300 jobs.
Obama's first visit to Ohio as president, on March 6 of last year, was also to tout the stimulus. The president attended a police class graduation in Columbus that was made possible in part due to federal funding from the Recovery Act.
The stimulus, which is formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was designed to stimulate the country's economy by increasing federal government spending and cutting taxes at a total cost to the government of $862 billion.
No Republicans in the House and only three in the Senate voted in favor of the bill. The stimulus was initially believed to have a price tag of $787 billion but earlier this year the Congressional Budget Office hiked its forecast for how much the stimulus will add to the nation's deficit, raising its estimate by $75 billion.
Obama returned on July 23 of last year to speak to voters at a townhall in Shaker Heights and made a third visit on September 7 to attend an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati, and returned a week later to speak about the economy at a GM plant in Lordstown.
In January, Obama met with voters at a community college in Elyria, Ohio, in the northeast part of the Buckeye State. The townhall meeting, which included workers and business owners, focused on putting more Americans back to work, and was part of what the administration calls the "White House to Main Street Tour."
In March this year, in a further push for congressional passage of his health care overhaul, the president spoke out on health insurance in Strongsville, outside of Cleveland.
While job creation is a top issue across the country, it's especially important in Ohio, where the most recent data put the state unemployment level at 10.9 percent.
Ohio is a crucial state in presidential elections. Obama won Ohio by 5 points over Republican Sen. John McCain in the 2008 election. The most recent polls in Ohio indicate that Obama's approval rating on the job he's doing as president stands around 45 percent.
Ohio also has some high profile contests this November's midterm elections, including governor and senator. In the gubernatorial contest, incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland faces a tough re-election battle against his Republican challenger, former Rep. John Kasich.
The Republicans are hoping to hold on to the seat of retiring Sen. George Voinovich. Surveys suggest a close race between the GOP nominee, former Rep. and Bush administration budget director Rob Portman, and the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.
Republicans noted that Fisher didn't team up with the president the last two times Obama was in Ohio. Both Fisher and Strickland are scheduled to appear at Friday's event.
–White House Producer White House Xuan Thai contributed to this story
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
All talk and not an intelligent thought. This administration is run by Harvard theorists who know nothing about which they speak. Marxist hard liners all, and we know where that takes us. Look at the Soviet Union, easter Europe, the hell holes of Asia, all modeled after what the Obamists are trying to impose on America. And shame on CNN for carrying their water !
stupid, wasteful, not gone to do a bit of good but to waste more money that we dont have.... bribes wont work ,,, cut taxes and open up lending ,,,,that will get this economy going,, not these bogus jobs and wasted spending...come on !!!
Instead of campaigning 24/7 he needs to do what he was elected for....be the president.
We have the worst environmental disaster in our history in the Gulf of Mexico and he appoints someone to be in charge of the clean up.....but it will only be a PART TIME job. He is clueless on how to run our country.
Give it up already. Nobody's being fooled anymore. Those who still support you have crawled back into their political caves for the foreseeable future.
Here we go again, campaigning for the almighty agenda, as the oil flows. Shows whats really important to them. Can't wait till 012.
If the stimulus is so good, why does he have to keep touting it?! I wish he would spend less time on the road trying to "sell his ideas" and more time coming up with actual good ideas that sell themselves.
I am glad the Liar in Chief is in Ohio and not here in the Gulf Coast.
"The stimulus, which is formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009..."
It ought to be known as the Government Employee Union Pay-off Act of 2009–most of that almost-trillion-dollars has been wasted hiring and/or protecting the jobs of state and local government employees as a reward for helping Obama get elected.
Stay there we DO NOT WANT you here. You're destroying everything you touch. Go back.
Ohio, BEWARE. Take a look at what he is trying do for our state's once triving economy. DO NOT TRUST HIM!
"A six week long push to highlight what the administration says will be a summer and fall of job creation fueled by a surge in federal stimulus spending across the country", he is taking the money that belongs to the Gulf Coast Area!
canpaigning again?????? guess that whole oil thing is taken care of
Talk, talk, talk, talk, trips, trips, trips, battle of Democrats vs Republicans, Republicans vs Democrats and so on. Stop!!!!! what we need is to see results, businesses hiring and people working long term jobs again!!! Why is Ohio's unemployment level presently at 10.9%, will it drop permanently with the 10,000 Recovery Act Road Project????? or is this temporary work of a few months?????
The stimulus is a failure, plain and simple. That is why he needs another one. I bet Obama will ramp up spending in time for November 10 and November 12 in an effort to help get dems get elected and save his butt.
I can't wait to see him in a debate in the next election he is going to get creamed. I could take this man apart in 10 questions or less.
President Obama ROCKS!
I met President Obama near the steps of the Capitol in 2006 when he was a Senator and we talked and joked around for about 10 minutes.
I am a born again Christian and I wholeheartedly denounce all the lies and crap that Fox News, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Senator Boehner and the Tea Party keep accusing this very humble and wise man of commiting just because he cares about all races, ethnic groups and classes of people.
Hmmmm . . . . in fact there was another man that said we should treat others as we would want them to treat us. His name is JESUS in case all those lunatics I name above ever forget!
I'm wondering, what with a situation in Iraq, a war in Afghanistan, an ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a falling stock market, North Korea acting up, why the President is out campaigning for a bill that was passed and signed into law months ago.
You know there are 49 other states??
It doesn't matter because no one ever thinks about the poor people in people in the small towns. He can create 150,000 jobs but the only thing we'll see in my small town is fast food places. I guess that's all we are good for.
Talking is no problem for the President but working on jobs that will actually pay taxes is non-existent. This stimulus is political money that he gives out in important election battlegroun states. Just today, a casino building got over forty million dollars is in the news. I am a democrat with a Pink slip for this President.
I wonder where the stimulus is working, it sure hasn't gotten to Texas yet? I wonder why people pat themselves on the back, for nothing?
Still on that "Massive Government Spending" philosophy, huh? Because it worked so well the first time?
Unless his objective is to destroy the Democratic Party's chances for the next 10 Presidential elections, he should probably shop around for some new economic and political advisors.
Screw the spending. Just place a major tax on all imported products by American Corporations, and give a a tax credit on goods manufactured in the US.
Problem solved, jobs created, people put back to work, and no public spending.
Recovery? What recovery? In case you hadn't noticed. mr President, we're 400,000 jobs lighter than we were in '06, thanks to the incompetant boob we have for a governor. Do us a favor: Stay at home and worry about the oil spill. We don't need any more of your help.
This type of behavior shows just how immature Obama is. He believes that if everyone sees his face and hears him speak at a particular project that he will get credit for making it happen. What he should be doing to waiving the Jones Act and getting the oil mess cleaned up, but he isn't worried about that. He is worried about using the mess to scare the public into believing in his clean energy agenda, which is going to run more small businesses out of business and bankrupt America and is, at this point, a pipe dream. He must try to make himself look good, no matter what else happens. Unfortunately, he is making himself look very foolish!!!
Ok Obama found one town that actually produced jobs and went there...