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April 20, 2012

President Obama to hit the road, again, bound for battleground states

President Obama hits the road next week, traveling to the election battleground states of North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa to press Congress to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling in July.

The White House says more than 7.4 million students would see interest rates double July 1 unless Congress acts.

"At a time when Americans owe more on student loans than credit cards, President Obama believes we must reward hard work and responsibility by keeping interest rates on student loans low so more Americans get a fair shot at an affordable college education, the skills they need to find a good job, and a clear path to middle class," the White House says.

Obama Tuesday will visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder and meet with students. He'll visit the University of Iowa on Wednesday.

The trip comes as polls suggest Obama's appeal among younger voters is lagging and the White House is also kicking off a social media effort using Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, using the hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate.

The trip comes as Press Secretary Jay Carney on Thursday defended Obama's penchant for traveling to battleground states on official business and tucking in a fundraiser or two. He flew to Ohio and Michigan on Wednesday, holding an official event in Ohio and two fundraisers in Michigan.

Carney said the campaign "follows all the rules and regulations to ensure that the DNC or other relevant political committee pays what is required for the President or First Lady to travel to political events."

And he noted that some of the battleground states Obama has traveled to weren't considered battleground states until Obama won them in 2008.

It would be "impossible for him to appropriately do his job and travel around the country and talk with the American people if he is guided by that kind of narrow view of what is a battleground state or a safe state for a Democrat or a safe state for a Republican," Carney said. "He's President of all the people, all of the United States, and will travel accordingly."


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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