President Barack Obama began a two-day swing through the hotly contested state of Virginia on Friday. The president touched on a wide range of topics in his appearances, including the economy, taxes, and the struggles of the middle class, according to reports by CNN and other media outlets.
Obama told supporters during an appearance in Virginia Beach that he had implemented many measures that have helped the middle class, including lower taxes. According to USA Today, he also spoke of his support for military families and veterans, in response to criticism from presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney regarding upcoming automatic cuts in defense spending.
Here are some of the key details regarding Obama's campaign stops in Virginia on Friday.
* Obama's campaign schedule for Friday included at least one stop in Virginia Beach, as well as appearances in Hampton and Roanoke. On Saturday he is slated to travel to Richmond, according to the Associated Press.
* In his appearance in Virginia Beach, Obama criticized Republicans for not acting to extend the Bush tax cuts for families making less than $250,000, focusing instead on votes to repeal health care reform.
* Obama tied his tax plan to deficit reduction as well, telling attendees that the lack of GOP support for the tax extensions was proof that the party is "not serious" about reducing the deficit, as quoted by the Associated Press.
* Obama also defended his record regarding military families and veterans, touting his efforts to reduce the number of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan and the withdrawal from Iraq.
* U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va) criticized Obama before his speech in Virginia Beach, saying that
"pink slips are looming" for military personnel in the state come January, yet "our commander in chief is eerily silent," as quoted by USA Today.
* At issue is $500 billion in automatic cuts in overall defense spending that are due to happen over the next decade, beginning in 2013. The cuts were part of the deal between Obama and the Republicans last year regarding the national debt limit.
* Romney, in a letter published in The Virginian Pilot on Friday, accused Obama of "irresponsible spending" that could lead to "over 200,000 troops forced from service," as quoted by Bloomberg News.
* The battle over defense spending is considered an important one as both candidates lobby for support in Virginia, a state that has more than 900,000 defense-related jobs, according to USA Today.