Obama tour in Pittsburgh Friday
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President Barack Obama will bring his "Betting on America" bus tour to Pittsburgh Friday as he seeks to highlight directly to voters how his record contrasts with that of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
The bus tour, the first for the president this year, begins Thursday in Ohio, with stops in Maumee, Sandusky and Parma. He will make a stop Friday morning in Poland, Ohio, before ending the trip with a speech at Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts lawn at 2 p.m.
"He'll talk with voters in their communities about what he has done to bring the economy back from the brink," said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt. "The president will also talk about the choice in this election: whether we want to grow our economy from the middle out or the top down."
All four local Obama campaign offices reported lines down the block when they began distributing the free tickets to the CMU event Tuesday morning.
Cornelia Davis, 70, of Mount Washington, a retired administrator in Pittsburgh Public Schools, was waiting in line for tickets outside the campaign office on the South Side Tuesday morning.
"He's pro-education. He's pro-student loans," she said. "I think he deserves another shot. I think we've got the Tea Party out of the way now."
The trip comes after Mr. Romney brought his own bus tour to Eastern Pennsylvania in the middle of June and declared that he would win the state. He visited the Pittsburgh area three times in the spring.
"When Mitt Romney was here he insulted the Bethel Bakery, so it wasn't exactly a positive trip for him," said Democratic Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, referring to an event in April in Bethel Park when Mr. Romney asked if cookies donated by the renowned bakery were from 7-Eleven.
Mr. LaBolt said holding the event at CMU reinforces the president's focus on investing in education, energy and infrastructure.
"Pittsburgh in many ways has been a success story for other cities and towns across the Midwest in that it has figured out how to get back onto its feet in the new economy," Mr. LaBolt said. "Carnegie Mellon's got an engineering school and it's representative of the sorts of investments that the president's talking about."
"From day one of his administration, the President has pursued policies that have hurt job creators, hurt the manufacturing sector and left millions of Americans struggling to find work," said Romney spokeswoman Kate Meriwether.
"It's going to be hard for the President to argue Pennsylvanians should gamble on a second term while on his bus tour," she said.
First Published July 4, 2012 12:00 am