3:38pm

Wed August 21, 2013
NPR Story

GOP Leaders "Welcome" Obama to Upstate, with Criticism

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 5:02 pm

Top state and national Republican leaders hammered President Obama and questioned his motives for a planned bus tour of upstate New York to discuss access to higher education that begins in Buffalo on Thursday.

RNC Chair Reince Priebus ,  Mr. Obama’s planned trip a “lame duck bus tour”, predicted that  the President would focus on “ the same old policies”  that he says haven't worked.

“You can be sure that the President will really take every single opportunity he can to do what he does best,” said Priebus. “Which is talk and talk and talk.”

New York State GOP Chair Ed Cox says the trip is really about shoring up Democratic support in key congressional districts that have the potential to swing between the two parties in recent elections.

“There are three congressional districts that I’m sure he’s hoping to take back,” said Cox, who claims “it will not happen in 2014”.

Chairman Cox, who is a former Trustee of the State University of New York, praised Mr. Obama for visiting State university campuses in Buffalo and Binghamton, but says most graduates move to states that have Republican governors and a better economy.

GOP Chair Cox extended his criticism to Governor Andrew Cuomo directly. He says Cuomo is displaying “political cowardice” by not allowing hydro fracking in the economically depressed Southern Tier. Cox also faults Cuomo for skipping a planned Binghamton appearance by Obama that will be targeted by anti fracking protesters.

“The governor just doesn’t have the guts to go ahead and do what’s right for jobs in the Southern Tier,” Cox said.  

Cuomo has said he plans to greet President Obama on the first leg of the President’s trip in Buffalo, then, the governor says, he has to leave to take his twin daughters to college.

Cuomo’s health commissioner has been studying potential health effects of fracking for nearly a year. No conclusion has been reached. 

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