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Washington • President Barack Obama will fly into Utah on Thursday and stay overnight before he offers remarks about the economy at Hill Air Force Base on Friday, the White House has confirmed.
Utahns, though, are pretty much out of luck if they want to see the president while he's visiting, according to the available schedule.
Obama's arrival and departure on Air Force One, along with his events on the military base, are closed to the public. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker are expected to be on hand to greet the president on his arrival, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Hill.
The White House wouldn't say where the president will stay while he's in Utah.
While Obama visiting Utah for the first time as president will spend some 16 hours in the state, it appears the only chance to grab a glance of the commander in chief, or even his motorcade, is if he stays in a hotel in Ogden or Salt Lake City.
Such restrictions are typical in presidential visits with their massive security needs. Obama on occasion drops by a diner or a burger joint when visiting various parts of the country, but most trips are strictly planned and orchestrated with little chance for what is referred to as an OTR off-the-record move.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that Obama's remarks in Utah and Kentucky, where he'll be earlier Thursday, will center on showing the differences between his plans for building the American economy and that of his Republican detractors.
"The president is looking forward to the opportunity to draw a pretty stark contrast between his middle-class-economics approach to expanding opportunity for everybody and the approach advocated by Republicans, which essentially is a top-down approach," Earnest said at the daily briefing.
The press secretary added that Obama is expected to target GOP efforts to repeal the estate tax. The House Ways and Means Committee was expected to advance a measure Wednesday that eliminates what Republicans call the "death tax."
"Just as a reminder to everybody, this is an estate-tax provision that would essentially offer a tax break that's targeted only at estates in excess of $11 million," Earnest said. "And this is a tax loophole that Republicans are seeking to carve out and would actually cost over $300 billion over 10 years. The president does not believe that is a fiscally responsible approach."
Obama's Utah trip leaves South Dakota as the only state he hasn't visited while in office.
Then-Sen. Obama visited Park City in August 2007, when he was running for president.
Obama traveled most often to Democratic and swing states during his first six years in office a pattern that he has changed dramatically this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In 2015, his travels have increasingly taken him to red states: Idaho, Kansas, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and now this week, Kentucky and Utah.
The Journal reports that most of the president's recent speeches about the economy have been in GOP strongholds.