President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down the stairs from Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) By Jose Luis Magana
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is marketing his $447 billion boost to the economy on the turf of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
The defiant gesture at a bridge crossing from Boehner's home state of Ohio to McConnell's Kentucky is Obama's latest effort to raise awareness for his jobs package amid broad public anxiety about the economy.
Obama is also seeking to put his differences with Republicans into sharper relief and to cast them as uncooperative. How Obama handles the economy and how much blame he gets if it continues to sputter will dominate his re-election bid next year.
A Boehner aide dismissed the trip as a political stunt. McConnell said Obama was trying to sow divisions and said he doesn't think Obama's fooling anybody.