After delivering his final State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama hit the road today, flying to Nebraska and Louisiana.
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Speaking at the University of Nebraska Omaha today, Obama called out Republicans for their rhetoric on the campaign trail, likening it to a word that “starts with a B.”
“When you hear people peddling this fiction about our enemies getting stronger, America getting weaker, when you hear folks say we can solve challenges just by looking meaner and talking tougher or carpet bombing wherever we want, you know that’s just hot air. It’s bluster. It’s not serious,” the president said in his first speech following last night’s State of the Union.
“There’s another word for it that starts with a B...,” he added before pausing and saying, “It’s baloney.”
The White House says the purpose of the president's two-day trip is to engage with Americans about the progress his administration has made and how to address the challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.
This will be the president’s second visit to Nebraska, a traditionally conservative state, since he took office in 2009. Earnest said he was unsure if the president would meet with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has supported the president's views on income inequality but who opposed the administration's stance on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Nebraska also neighbors the state of Iowa, the site of the first caucuses of the presidential race. As he addressed the University of Nebraska Omaha, the president assessed some of the Republican campaigns.
“You hear a bunch of folks right across the river and I don’t know if the TV has drifted over here, but they’re kind of depressing,” he said. “I like talking about hope and all the good stuff, but if it’s going on, and you look at some of these ads and it’s some doom and some gloom.”
“It’s like everybody’s running around and saying, you know, America’s in decline and everything’s scary and let’s find somebody to blame and the point I wanted to make, the core thing I wanted to say last night was, that’s not the spirit that brought America so far. That’s not how we traveled so far,” he said.
Prior to his speech at the college campus, the president stopped in Papillion, Nebraska for a "living room discussion" with the family and friends of Lisa Martin, a high school teacher who wrote to the president last year about her hopes and concerns about the world her newborn son would grow up in.
As he sat down with the Martin family, the president offered some advice to their one-year-old son, Cooper, who was mesmerized by the microphones and cameras of the traveling press corps.
“It’s pretty cool, yeah, but you can’t say anything that they might quote you on,” the president said to Cooper.
This evening, Obama will fly on Air Force One to Baton Rouge to continue talking about the economy, health care and education.