Obama to Emphasize Rural America in Interviews, Report Tomorrow

President Barack Obama will conduct interviews with eight local television stations -- in mostly Republican-friendly parts of swing states -- to promote his Democratic administration’s efforts for rural communities.

Obama, who is seeking re-election in November, also will announce an additional investment of about $2 billion through 2016 for rural businesses, according to a White House official familiar with the plans, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

A joint report about rural America will be released tomorrow by the Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Rural Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The television markets for the interviews are in Republican-leaning parts of presidential election swing states - - Green Bay, Wisconsin; Roanoke, Virginia; Jacksonville, Florida; Sioux City, Iowa; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Reno, Nevada -- as well as Fresno in solidly Democratic California, and Greenville in solidly Republican South Carolina.

Tomorrow’s events follow a week of political setbacks for Obama. The president drew criticism on June 8 from Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, that he is out of touch with the economic concerns of average Americans after saying the private sector is “doing fine.” Obama later clarified his remarks to say that it is “absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.”

Obama also is feeling a drag from a June 1 report showing the U.S. unemployment rate increased in May, and the failure of Democrats and unions in a June 5 recall vote against Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, a state Obama’s campaign is counting on in the November election.

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