Racine, Wisconsin (CNN) –President Obama loves to tell audiences across the country that he enjoys getting away from Washington.
At a town hall meeting in Racine, Wisconsin Wednesday, it was no different.
"It's just nice to get out of Washington, I love Washington but I have to tell you, you know, it's good to escape the heat and hot air," Obama said.
It's not just the 90-degree temperatures Obama was referring to, but the heated political climate that's been intensified by the upcoming midterm elections.
Obama vented anger at Republican opposition to unemployment benefits and financial regulations. He liberally took jabs at "the other party."
A senior administration official told CNN the president wasn't playing politics but rather pointing out policy differences.
Getting outside Washington also gives the president a chance to see Americans face-to-face, shake hands and sample local delicacies as he did in Racine. Before arriving at the town hall meeting, Obama stopped at O & H Danish Bakery.
"These are good," the president mumbled after tasting a local specialty called a Kringle, a giant Danish pastry.
But there's one more thing the president usually finds at these non-Washington events: friendly audiences.
He took a half dozen questions about his economic stimulus package, the treatment of the military and veterans, and education.
One woman asked the president, "One man cannot create this country again the way it needs to be built, so we need to work together. What are we doing as a nation to bring jobs back into this country that have left, so that we the people can give you the resources that you need to do the job you need to do?"
There were no tough questions and no real criticism of the Obama administration.
Enjoying the moment in his shirt sleeves, the president ended the meeting by calling on a young boy, who was suddenly joined by what appeared to be a classmate.
Alternating between every few words they asked, "We were wondering about student loans?"
The president joked, "Well you were so busy practicing your question you didn't see that I answered it over here. I'm teasing you."
As the laughter died down, the president again repeated his higher education talking points and with that exited stage left, unscathed.
I hope you have a nice cup of hot coffee with it