President Obama did not schedule an abrupt visit to storm-torn Louisiana as a response to Mitt Romney’s decision to go to the state today, his spokesman said.
“Yes, it had,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Air Force One when a reporter asked, “Had the decision to go to Louisiana on Monday been made before the White House learned that Mitt Romney would be going today?”
The White House announced shortly after noon that “On Monday, September 3rd, President Obama will travel to Louisiana to meet with local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac. More details will be released when they become available.”
Romney made his announcement first. “Romney had changed his schedule to head to an affected town outside New Orleans while Obama, who has yet to visit the Tropical Storm Isaac zone, headed off to Texas to campaign,” The Daily Mail noted.
Carney said the timing of Obama’s visit and announcement was entirely driven by conditions on the ground. “Obviously, as has been the case with previous natural disasters and other events similar to that, there are assessments being made all the time about whether the President should visit and when, and always the caveat is introduced that we want to make sure that we’re not affecting response efforts,” he said.
Obama will cancel one event in Ohio, but not another. “[O]n Monday we will be going to Toledo for a campaign event, and then to Louisiana,” Carney said.