Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley was a reporter for member station KPBS-FM, where he received numerous honors, including a Public Radio News Directors' award for coverage of the California energy crisis.

Earlier in his career, Horsley worked as a reporter for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and as a news writer and reporter for commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

If unusually warm weather helped encourage job growth earlier this year, May was like a wet, cold rain. A report from the Labor Department on Friday showed that U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs last month — far fewer than expected.

NPR is examining what the American dream means to our culture, our economy and our politics. On Morning Edition, we'll explore what Republicans think of the American dream. In this installment, the view from President Obama.

The American dream — the idea that in this country anyone can rise from humble beginnings and succeed — is deeply woven into our national psyche. It's a promise that draws immigrants to our shores. And it's a staple on the campaign trail.

President Obama awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, to a dozen people Tuesday. The list of names include astronaut John Glenn, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and musician Bob Dylan.

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Think of this as blowback. President Obama's campaign has intensified the questioning of Mitt Romney's business record.

MONTAGNE: That is what candidates often do - work to define the opponent. Republicans are pushing back, defending Romney's record at a private equity firm and attacking the attack.

NATO commanders say the mantra of the Afghan alliance has been "in together, out together." That means keeping combat forces in the country through 2014 — even though some member countries like France plan to bring their troops home sooner.

Camp David, in the Maryland hills outside Washington, D.C., is usually a place for the president and his family to get away from work, a wooded refuge with a swimming pool, tennis courts and a putting green.

This weekend, though, President Obama is bringing work with him to the camp — along with the leaders from most of the countries with the world's largest economies.

The Group of Eight is meeting in the rustic setting, but the agenda will be all business.

With a speech in Ohio Wednesday, Vice President Biden kept up the drum beat criticizing Mitt Romney for his work as a venture capitalist. The GOP presidential hopeful casts his business experience as a prime asset.

Republicans who control the House want to block some $55 billion worth of automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget next year. Instead, they want to cut funding for social programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. It's a choice that has been framed as guns versus butter, and this time, guns are expected to win.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the legislation, which the House votes on Thursday. But the president is willing to leave the Pentagon cuts in place for now, in hopes of bringing Republicans back to the bargaining table.

President Obama says the country has come too far in the last four years to change course now. He kicked off his re-election campaign Saturday with a pair of high-profile rallies in two pivotal states, Ohio and Virginia.

Obama acknowledged the economic recovery still has a long way to go. Yet he argued his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, would move the country backward, not forward.

Unsatisfied With Unemployment

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For the president, next week is being billed as the official launch of his re-election campaign. Mr. Obama will be holding rallies in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia. But it would be hard to tell a difference from this week, when Mr. Obama made a tour of college campuses in three other battleground states.

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A new poll suggests President Obama has an excellent chance of winning the youth vote. He leads voters under 30 by a wide margin.

MONTAGNE: But that's not exactly the question in a hard-fought campaign. The president does not lead among young voters by the same margin as in 2008.

President Obama sets off on a two-day tour of college campuses Tuesday to tout a plan to keep student loans more affordable.

The trip is billed as official business, but it has a political flavor. Stops include: North Carolina, where Democrats hold their national convention this summer; Colorado, where Obama accepted his party's nomination four years ago; and Iowa, where his White House campaign was launched in 2008.

All three states are expected to be hard-fought battlegrounds in November.

More than 99 million federal taxpayers had filed their returns as of Tuesday, with more than 80 million of those expecting a refund.

People who file at the last minute — and Tuesday is this year's deadline — are somewhat more likely to owe money to the government. And if Congress and the president don't act, next year could see many more Americans paying higher taxes.

That's not because either President Obama or presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney advocate a tax increase for most Americans.

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President Obama is in Colombia today, along with 33 leaders, gathered for the Summit of the Americas. During his visit, the president hopes to highlight growing economic ties within the region. On his way to Colombia, Mr. Obama made a swing-state pit-stop in Tampa, Florida.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

While Republican candidates continue to slug it out for their party's White House nomination, President Obama is getting a head start on the general election.

Obama's grassroots campaign is already hard at work with volunteers hosting house parties and staffing phone banks to find and mobilize the president's supporters. The campaign has opened five offices in Virginia, and that's not counting the basement of Sue Langley's house in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Vienna, where more than a dozen volunteers assembled this past weekend.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.

Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.

The widening gulf between the rich and everyone else is a growing source of tension in America.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds the income gap is now seen as a bigger source of conflict in the U.S. than race, age or national origin. That's why some believe the issue could matter in the presidential campaign, and others worry it could warp the national debate.

Two out of three Americans now perceive strong social conflicts over the income gap — up sharply from two years ago. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center has an idea what's behind the increase.

The central argument of Republican Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is that he understands how the economy works — thanks to his business background — in a way that President Obama does not.

Democrats have been challenging the former Massachusetts governor's claim that the private equity firm he founded helped to create more than 100,000 jobs. Now, some of Romney's Republican rivals are raising questions of their own.

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