President Obama’s trio of speeches — which just happened to be given at colleges in battleground states — this week was the final straw for the Republican National Committee, which filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office today:
Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as “official events,” thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his reelection efforts. Given the recent excesses, waste, and abuse uncovered in the General Services Administration, the GAO should be particularly sensitive to misuse of taxpayer dollars.
The most recent example of such misuse came yesterday in North Carolina and Colorado. President Obama traveled to the two states at taxpayer expense to deliver speeches to cheering crowds of college students, events widely reported to be equivalent to campaign rallies.
Today he will hold another similar event in Iowa. Ostensibly these campaign stops were meant to support student loan legislation (which ironically President Obama didn’t even take the time to vote on during his short tenure in the U.S. Senate). Please note that President Obama traveled to three states largely considered to be electoral battlegrounds to promote this legislation. One might imagine that if this were genuinely a government event he might have stopped in a non-battleground state like Texas or Vermont.
Full letter here. The Obama campaign (coincidentally?) just announced Obama’s first campaign rallies tonight. “Big news: The President and First Lady are holding the first rallies of the campaign on May 5 in Columbus, OH, and Richmond, VA,” was the message from Obama’s twitter account.