President Obama will continue to sell his stimulus plan next week with a trip to Ohio. The president heads to the Buckeye State next Thursday and will deliver remarks at the Brent Spence Bridge, a busy trucking path that connects Cincinnati to northern Kentucky. The bridge has declined over the years and the White House calls it "functionally obsolete".
Obama plans to highlight the bridge as one of many infrastructure projects that could benefit from his American Jobs Act, should it pass in Congress. The president referenced the Brent Space Bridge in his speech to congress last week while talking about putting construction workers back on the job.
His visit to the bridge will be his 16th trip to Ohio as president. Obama won the swing state in 2008, but democrats in Ohio lost big in last fall's midterm elections. Both the governorship and senate races were captured by republicans, and five house districts changed hands from blue to red.
Most political analysts say Ohio is a must-win state for the president's re-election next year. But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denies there's any political connections to the trip next week telling reporters the president is traveling "across the country to highlight this urgent need and to engage the American people in calling on their members of Congress, their senators to pass the bill."
The bridge resides close to the district of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and on the other side of the river in Kentucky, is the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky, key leaders in Washington whom the president must convince in order to pass his plan. Obama has repeatedly said "pass this bill" in recent days, repeating the phrase 24 times in a speech Wednesday urging listeners to call their representatives, and tell their elected officials to vote for the American Jobs Act.
While the president heads to Ohio next Thursday, his GOP rivals will be in Florida, another key election state, for a Fox News / Goggle debate.