President Obama to Visit Cedar Rapids Next Week

By James Lynch, Reporter

President Barack Obama speaks about the rising costs of higher education Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at the University of Iowa Field House in Iowa City, Iowa. The President, who was on a three campus tour, was pushing to keep interest rates low on a widely used loan program aimed at low-income and middle-class students. (Brian Ray/Pool Photo)

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Signaling the continuing importance of Iowa to his re-election effort, President Obama will make a second trip this year to Cedar Rapids for a “grassroots” event July 10.

According to campaign officials, the president will talk with Iowans about what he sees a clear economic choice in this election -- whether they want to grow the economy from the middle out or the top down.

It will be the first-term Democrat’s fourth trip to Iowa this year. Obama visited Cedar Rapids in January to speak at Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing the day after delivering his annual State of the Union speech to Congress. He returned in April to visit the University of Iowa in Iowa City in April and in May to visit the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and Newton.

The president’s visit will mark the ninth time since January that either he, first lady Michele Obama or Vice President Joe Biden have traveled to the Hawkeye state, one of a handful of swing states that are expected to determine the outcome of the 2012 election. Biden made multiple stops in Eastern Iowa in late June.

As he did in his January visit to Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing the day after delivering his annual State of the Union speech to Congress, Obama is expected to emphasize his efforts to rebuild an economy meant to last -- one that restores middle-class security by investing in education, energy, innovation and infrastructure and reforms the tax code. He believes will create American jobs, responsibly pay down the federal debt, ensure everyone from Wall Street to Main Street plays by the same rules and everyone pays their fair share.

Obama for America has stepped up its rural outreach, including the release July 3 of a Rural Americans for Obama video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCHgxm8Jau4.

According to the campaign, Iowa farmers are seeing record farm income, record agricultural exports and the growth of renewable energy industries for wind and biofuels that are revitalizing small towns across Iowa under the Obama administration.

President Obama is working to build stronger and more diverse economies in rural Iowa through investments in renewable energy, manufacturing, education and agriculture, while Romney has shown little understanding of rural America and agriculture, the campaign said.

At the same time, the president’s re-election campaign paints Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as believing in an economy built on outsourcing, risky financial deals and tax cuts for the wealthy paid for by the middle class. Those are the same policies that crashed the economy and devastated the middle-class in the first place, according to the president.

At the same time as the president’s visit, Republican precinct caucus winner former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will be in Iowa. Santorum will do a “thank you” lunch July 10 at Bella Scala in Iowa City. He’ll have a similar event July 11 in Windsor Heights. He’s also making appearances for Republican congressional and legislative candidates in Eastern Iowa.

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