It’s the first visit Obama made to Idaho as president, though he did headline a rally in the state during his 2008 White House campaign. From Boise, Obama heads to Kansas, another state that typically backs Republicans.
White House officials say Obama deliberately chose conservative states for his first stops following his annual address to Congress.
Among the economic proposals that he outlined Tuesday was a tax increase on the wealthy to pay for programs for the middle class. Obama’s plans have been panned by the Republicans who now control Congress.
While in Idaho, Obama also plans to meet privately with Naghmeh Abedini , the wife of an American pastor held prisoner in Iran. Christian pastor Saeed Abedini has been in Iranian custody since September 2012 and was sentenced to eight years for what was termed undermining state security when he attempted to build a church network in private homes.
The 34-year-old man is of Iranian origin but had been living in Boise.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama that the United States is concerned with the unjust detention of Abedini and other Americans being held in Iran. He said Secretary of State John Kerry raised the matter recently with his Iranian counterpart during a meeting in Europe, and it is a priority for Obama.
From The Associated Press