The president's visit to Albany is being viewed as a campaign stop by many, partly because of the shots the president took at Republicans during his speech. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more.
NEW YORK STATE -- In presidential politics, New York is known as the ATM state. Candidates come to raise cash, but do little campaigning.
Not President Obama. Since taking office in 2009, he's visited the Albany area three times. But in the heat of an election year, the Democratic president couldn't help but take a dig at Republicans.
“So each time there was a recession with a Republican President, compensated, we compensated by making sure that government didn't see a drastic reduction in employment. The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me,” Obama said.
New York is not a swing state. In fact, it's solidly Democratic and President Obama has no chance of losing it this November. However, it is indicative of the national economy as a whole. Manufacturing jobs have left upstate in droves to warmer climes and even to other countries.
But it still raises the question that is always asked of incumbent presidents: Is this official event really meant for the campaign? At least one Republican at the event didn't think so.
“The president is here today, fifty different states, he chose to come right here,” Representative Chris Gibson said.
And then there's Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been mentioned as a possible White House contender in 2016 thanks in part to his successful push for gay marriage last year, a measure where Obama's views remain murky at best. Earlier in the week, Cuomo didn't fully commit to campaigning for the president later this year.
“I will support the president however they want me to support the president, you know, and I'll leave it to them to determine whatever they want me to do,” Cuomo said.
With Obama in Albany, the praise came quickly.
Cuomo said, “Your leadership has brought this nation through the storm and we thank you.”
Obama says he wants Congress to act on a five-point plan for job creation, but as political lines harden in an election year, the agenda seems meant more for headlines and not becoming law.
“In an election year, people tend to be a little responsive. It shouldn't be about politics, it should be about governing,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.