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   Critics say Obama is spending taxpayer money campaigning

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4/11/2012 11:55 am

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Scandal

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Entered 4/13/2012, Updated 4/13/2012

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TAMPA -- As President Barack Obama arrived in South Florida on Tuesday to raise campaign money and boost his "Buffett Rule" tax proposal, Republicans blasted him for spending too much time and taxpayer money campaigning. Democrats responded that Obama is playing by the same rules as previous administrations when it comes to paying for political trips on Air Force 1, and rejected an assertion by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami that Obama takes too much vacation time. Meanwhile, the White House announced that Obama will make a speech on trade at the Port of Tampa on Friday, on his way from Washington to Colombia for a Summit of the Americas. Full travel plans for that trip haven't been announced yet, but it apparently won't include any campaign stops. Obama made a speech at Florida Atlantic University on Tuesday on the Buffett Rule, his proposal that high-income people should pay at least as large a proportion of their income in taxes as middle- and low-income earners, or at least 30 percent. That speech, an official presidential event, was sandwiched between three campaign fundraising events. A watchdog group said those events would reap $2 million or more for Obama's campaign and the Democratic Victory fund. The victory fund is a joint campaign-Democratic Party fund which can accept larger contributions than the campaign itself.


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