POSTED: 4:51 a.m. HST, Dec 30, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 5:08 a.m. HST, Dec 30, 2011
President Barack Obama will travel to Cleveland the day after the Iowa caucuses as he seeks to draw a contrast with Republicans running for president.
The White House says the president's Jan. 4 trip to Ohio will focus largely on the economy.
Republican presidential candidates will face off in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. It's the first nominating contest of the 2012 campaign.
Obama won Ohio in 2008. But the state has been hard-hit economically during the president's term, and is sure to be a political battleground in next year's presidential election.
Obama aides say the president's trip to Cleveland marks the start of an aggressive 2012 domestic travel schedule. Still, aides insist Obama will not fully engage in the presidential race until after Republicans pick a nominee.