WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to travel to five states following next week's State of the Union address, courting voters who will be critical to his re-election campaign.
The president will discuss proposals from Tuesday's address in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Phoenix on Wednesday and in Las Vegas and Denver on Thursday. On Friday, Obama will speak in Detroit.
The White House has not outlined policy proposals that the president intends to make in the address. With the nation trying to move forward from a deep economic recession, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday the speech would carry economic themes similar to those the president has been discussing in other forums.
"He is fiercely focused on economic growth and job creation and ... using every tool available to him to assist him in that project," Carney said. He said the president would "travel around the country to talk about the issues that are important to Americans in every state, including, most importantly, economic growth and job creation."
Republicans said Obama's travels were politically motivated, accusing the president of being focused entirely on his re-election campaign.
"It's clear President Obama has abandoned governing and is in complete campaign mode," said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski.
The five states are expected to be heavily contested by both Obama and his Republican challenger this year.
Obama won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, sending him on a path to the White House, but the state looks like a toss-up this year. Colorado, Nevada and Arizona are three Western states the president's campaign covets, while Michigan is expected to get ample attention from Republicans after the economic recession hurt the state's manufacturing base.
Obama carried all of the states except Arizona in 2008.