Obama follows Romney to Louisiana

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama announced Friday that he’s heading to Louisiana, but he’ll arrive after Mitt Romney has toured the storm-damage state in company with the state’s popular Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The president’s Sept. 3 visit was announced via a 11:54 a.m. tweet from White House communications director Daniel Pfeiffer. “President Obama will head to Louisiana on Monday to visit damage from Hurricane Isaac,” he tweeted.

Romney’s visit to the storm-damaged state the day after his successful convention speech highlights his aggressive campaign strategy, which seeks to preempts Democratic p.r. offensives.

For example, Romney and his vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan, have aggressively criticized Obama for damaging Medicare in advance of Democratic efforts to “Mediscare” retirees into voting for Obama.

Similarly, the New Orleans visit may have preempted a likely Obama visit that would have reminded voters of the P.R. hammering given to Republican President George W. Bush when Hurricane Katrina hit the unprepared Democrat-run state and city in 2005.

Romney’s visit also helped pull the president away from his campaign-trail focus on swing-states, including Colorado, Virginia, Ohio and Iowa.

“In light of the President’s travel to Louisiana to meet with local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac, President Obama will no longer travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, September 3,” said a 12:51 p.m. statement from the White House.

Louisiana is expected to vote Republican in November.

The president’s revamped presidential travel plan followed taunts from conservative advocates, including Cheri Jacobus, who derided Obama’s emphasis on his re-election campaign rather than on governing. (WATCH: Clint Eastwood: ‘Go ahead, make my day’)

“President Obama has no plans to visit New Orleans post-Isaac, but Mitt Romney is on his way there. Obama continues to fundraise and campaign instead. Empty chair,” she wrote in The Hill.

Hurricane Isaac moves toward New Orleans on Aug. 28, 2012. (Photo: AP/NOAA)

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