UNI Professor takes a closer look at Obama's visit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Professor takes a closer look at Obama's visit

UNI Professor takes a closer look at Obama's visit

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

President Barack Obama's visit to Cedar Rapids' Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing Wednesday left many people wondering if the visit was a campaign stop.

"A lot of it sounded very similar to what was said last night [during the State of the Union Address]," UNI Political Science Professor Chris Larimer says as he looks over the verbatim of the President's speech.

"I think he's outlining he's ideals, but very much making a campaign issue so its both [a campaign stop and a State of the Union Tour]."

The professor points to an example.

"America is not about handouts. America is about earning everything you've got," Obama said. "But if you're willing to put in the work, the idea is that you should be able to raise a family and own a home; not go bankrupt because you got sick, because you've got some health insurance that helps you deal with those difficult times; that you can send your kids to college; that you can put some money away for retirement. That's all most people want."

"He's going to make fairness in the economy, fairness in the tax code a big campaign issue," Larimer said.

He also says there are several reasons for Obama to visit Iowa. One, Iowa is a key battle ground state for this year's election.

"The state of the economy suggests 2012 is a very competitive election so… I'm sure his advisors are looking at the map thinking ‘There's not a single state we can loose and we have to be very cautious of what going on out there."

Larimer says that Cedar Rapids was no consequence.

"The employment rate is doing well, and Cedar Rapids is a vibrant growing economy--thriving relatively speaking with a strong manufacturing sector."

The professor also points toward Obama's success in 2008.

"That really propelled him into the White House," Larimer said.

Wednesday's speech may also be a preview for the issues that the President will push.

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