They didn’t even bother with an empty chair…
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – President Obama received a less than warm welcome and a warning upon arrival at the airport here on the second stop of his Iowa visit, which was aimed at recapturing some of the magic the state gave his run to the White House in 2008.
Greeting Air Force One as it touched down under sunny skies and sultry heat was a hand-painted banner draped across the top of an airplane hangar that reads, “Obama Welcome to SUX – We Did Build This.” “SUX” is the airport code for Sioux City.
The message appeared to be a response President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remark from a July campaign rally, when he was trying to explain that government – not businesses – constructed public infrastructure on which the economy relies. Republicans have used the four words to attack Obama as out of touch with the realities of owning and operating a small business.
The banner is a reminder that this part of the state remains hotly contested turf for both Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney, just as the campaign enters the home stretch.
Sioux City, which sits on the border with Nebraska in the northwest corner of the state, is territory Obama lost in 2008 to Sen. John McCain, even though he won the state overall. Obama won 49 percent of the vote here to McCain’s 50 percent, a difference of just 500 votes.
Obama also won the Iowa caucuses, an early confirmation that his message was resonating with Democrats.
This time around, the president’s campaign believes it can turn the Sioux City region blue by appealing to middle class values and highlighting the administration’s record of tax cuts for small businesses and families.
Polls show Iowa, which Obama won handily four years ago carrying 54 percent of the vote, is up for grabs in November. Obama and Romney have been locked in a dead heat since early this year.