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.

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6:15pm

Fri December 16, 2011
It's All Politics

In Iowa And Beyond, Republicans In Final Push Before Contests Begin

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters Friday in Sioux City before starting a 99-county bus tour of Iowa.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

The Republican presidential contest remains fluid less than three weeks before the caucuses and primaries begin. Nationwide, nearly one in five GOP voters is still undecided. And in Iowa, candidates are making their final push before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Friday told workers at a metal fabricating plant in Sioux City, Iowa: "I am running in this race because I understand how to get middle-class Americans prosperous again, working again, buying things, and putting more Americans back to work."

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5:20pm

Fri December 16, 2011
Politics

Romney Receives Endorsement From Nikki Haley

The day after the final debate before the primaries, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa. He also picked up the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

4:00am

Fri December 16, 2011
Election 2012

In Iowa, Bachmann Attacks Gingrich In GOP Debate

Newt Gingrich stood center state Thursday night in the Sioux City Convention Center. The sharpest elbows did not come from his close rivals, Mitt Romney or Ron Paul. Instead, it was Michele Bachmann who repeatedly went after Gingrich.

4:25pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Barack Obama

In Iowa, Obama's Campaign Team Rehearses For 2012

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 6:31 pm

President Obama speaks with small-business owners at Rausch's Cafe in Guttenberg, Iowa, during a three-day Midwest bus tour in August.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

President Obama doesn't have to worry about winning the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. He's almost sure to be the only Democrat in the first-in-the-nation contest. Yet that hasn't stopped the Obama campaign from organizing its own effort to get out the vote.

While Republican candidates have been hogging the Iowa spotlight, a small army of Obama volunteers has been busy behind the scenes. They've opened eight campaign offices around the state, hosted dozens of house parties, and logged tens of thousands of telephone calls.

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5:12am

Fri December 9, 2011
Politics

Obama Pushes Agenda Despite Losses On The Hill

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 11:47 am

President Obama addresses the media Thursday, with an electronic clock counting down to the end of the year. The payroll tax cut is due to expire then, unless Congress votes to extend it.
Win McNamee Getty Images

President Obama lost a couple of economic battles on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but he is hoping to win the political war. The president vows to keep fighting for policies he says will benefit the broad middle class.

As Obama spoke to reporters in the White House briefing room, an electronic clock behind him ticked down the minutes, hours and days until year's end. That's when a payroll tax cut is due to expire, unless Congress votes to extend it.

Economic Skirmishes

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4:47am

Tue December 6, 2011
Politics

In Kansas, Obama Invites Teddy Roosevelt Comparisons

President Obama will try Tuesday to follow in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt when he delivers an economic speech in Osawatomie, Kan., the same city where Roosevelt issued a famous call for a "New Nationalism" more than 100 years ago.

For Obama, this is a "connect-the-dots" speech. White House spokesman Jay Carney said it's a chance to show how the president's various economic proposals — from stricter banking oversight to payroll tax cuts — fit together, as Obama prepares for a re-election battle.

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4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Economy

Obama Uses Pa. Trip To Push Payroll Tax Cut Extension

At a high school in Scranton, Pa., Wednesday, President Obama exhorted Republicans in Congress to extend the pay roll tax cut. He said putting money in the pockets of working people is more important than partisan politics.

12:01am

Fri November 25, 2011
Election 2012

A Holiday Guide For The Politically Inclined

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 5:18 am

T-shirts on display at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in June. With the holidays approaching, campaigns and retailers are hawking plenty of political merchandise.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

At NPR, we know a thing or two about promotional merchandise. After all, we invented the Nina Totin' Bag and the Carl Kasell Autograph Pillow. So, on this Black Friday, White House correspondent Scott Horsley presents the NPR guide to campaign swag.

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4:00am

Wed November 23, 2011
Economy

In N.H. Trip, Obama Pushes Keeping Payroll Tax Cut

Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 6:10 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

While Republicans prepared to debate yesterday, a debate we've heard elsewhere in this program, President Obama was visiting New Hampshire. He appeared in that state, which holds the nation's first primary. New Hampshire is also an important general election state and the president's appearance offered a counterweight to all the Republicans who've been busy there. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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12:01am

Tue November 22, 2011
Election 2012

Would Romney's Tough China Talk Survive Election?

Teh Eng Koon AFP/Getty Images

Within the Republican presidential field, no one has talked tougher about China than Mitt Romney. He has vowed to go after that country from his first day in office, threatening to slap tariffs on Chinese imports to make up for its artificially low currency.

"We can't just sit back and let China run all over us," Romney said. "People say, 'Well, you'll start a trade war.' There's one going on right now, folks. They're stealing our jobs. And we're going to stand up to China."

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4:03pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Politics

Obama's Hands-Off Approach To The Supercommittee

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 4:03 pm

U.S. President Barack Obama delivered remarks before signing legislation that will provide business tax credits to help put veterans back to work on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama has kept his distance from the supercommittee. Unlike the budget battles earlier this year, there were no bargaining sessions at the White House. No presidential motorcades to Capitol Hill.

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4:00am

Wed November 16, 2011
Election 2012

Perry Plan Would Make Big Changes To Washington

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 7:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is rising in the polls, but Rick Perry is back in the spotlight after some proposals he made in Iowa yesterday. The Texas governor wants Congress to take a 50 percent pay cut, as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul the government.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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3:07pm

Mon November 14, 2011
Politics

Foreign Policy A Fresh Target For GOP Hopefuls

The economy is expected to dominate all other issues in next year's presidential race. But in recent days, both the Republican candidates and President Obama have focused on foreign policy.

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8:33am

Sun November 13, 2011
Politics

GOP Candidates Unite Against Obama's Foreign Policy

Republican presidential hopefuls participate in the South Carolina presidential debate at Wofford College on Saturday. It was the first debate of the season focused on foreign policy.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama's handling of Iran, Afghanistan and the Arab Spring during a debate Saturday night in South Carolina. It was the first of this year's debates in which foreign policy was the dominant topic.

Although the candidates aimed most of their firepower at the sitting president, the forum did expose some fault lines within the Republican ranks.

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12:01am

Fri November 11, 2011
Politics

Senate OKs Bill To Boost Hiring Of Veterans

Veterans register for the "Hiring Our Heroes" job fair on Nov. 4 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah. Some 240,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are out of work.
George Frey Getty Images

The Senate has approved just in time for Veterans Day a series of tax credits designed to make it easier for veterans to find jobs.

Some 240,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are out of work. The Senate bill would provide tax breaks of up to $9,600 to private employers who hire them.

The tax credits are the first sliver of President Obama's $447 billion jobs package to actually win bipartisan approval in the Senate. Obama says service members who fought for their country shouldn't have to fight for jobs when they come home.

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8:00am

Sat November 5, 2011
Politics

What The U.S. Got From A Euro-Focused Summit

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: President Obama spent the last two days in France wrestling with Europe's financial problems. He's back in the United States this morning where America has its own economic challenges. Home and abroad, Mr. Obama and his fellow leaders are confronted with slow growth, big debts and the political battles over how to deal with them. NPR Scott Horsley reports.

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3:13pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Europe

G-20 Leaders Head Home With Euro Crisis Unresolved

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 7:03 pm

British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Obama at the G-20 summit Friday in Cannes, France.
Chris Ratcliffe Getty Images

President Obama joked that the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, offered a crash course in European politics, with impromptu bargaining sessions that stretched late into the evening.

Yet the summit produced no big breakthroughs, only vague promises to prevent the political and economic turmoil in Greece from spreading.

After huddling with leaders from throughout the eurozone, Obama reiterated his belief that the countries on the continent can solve their own debt problems.

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3:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
World

Greek Drama Dominates Talks At G-20 Summit

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 7:37 pm

President Obama speaks with (from left) French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, on Thursday. The talks were dominated by Greece's financial woes.
Charles Dharapak AP

Greece's decision to scrap a referendum on new austerity measures added a note of urgency to the G-20 summit meeting that began in Cannes, France, on Thursday. President Obama and other G-20 leaders are trying to prevent the Greek debt crisis from spreading to the rest of Europe and beyond.

Before the G-20 summit formally got under way, Obama met privately with the leaders of France and Germany — Europe's two biggest economies. They're also the architects of a continental debt rescue plan.

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5:00am

Thu November 3, 2011
Europe

Cannes Plays Host To An Economic Crisis

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 9:11 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the eve of the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, on Wednesday. The European economic crisis is taking center stage at the summit.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

The setting for this year's G-20 summit meeting is the Riviera Convention Center that hosts the Cannes Film Festival. President Obama will be walking the red carpet, but it's the European leaders who are stars of this show.

The Europeans are facing pressure to erect a financial "firewall" that will prevent the debt problems now plaguing Greece from spreading to the rest of the Continent and beyond.

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5:13pm

Tue October 25, 2011
Rick Perry

Perry Proposes Optional 20 Percent Flat Tax

Rick Perry doesn't have a catchy marketing slogan for his tax plan. But he's hoping the idea of a flat, 20 percent income tax rate will do for his campaign what "9-9-9" did for Herman Cain's.

"We need a tax code that unleashes growth instead of preventing it; that promotes fairness, not class warfare," Perry said during a speech at the ISO Poly Films factory Tuesday in Gray Court, S.C.

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7:35am

Sat October 22, 2011
Politics

Back To Jobs: Obama Reaches Out To 'All Americans'

Originally published on Sat October 22, 2011 6:57 pm

President Obama greets people at Fire Station 9 in North Chesterfield, Va., on Wednesday. He was on his three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia to push for his jobs bill. Next, he heads to Colorado and Nevada.

Jay Paul Getty Images

Even as President Obama announced the troop withdrawal from Iraq on Friday, he acknowledged the U.S. now faces a bigger challenge: creating opportunity and jobs in this country.

"After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build — is our own," he said, "an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we've restored our leadership around the globe."

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4:28pm

Fri October 21, 2011
National Security

President Obama: All Troops Out of Iraq By Dec. 31

President Barack Obama announced Friday that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this year, ending nearly nine years of war.

Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

President Obama, a critic of the Iraq war from the very beginning, announced Friday that all U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of December. After nearly nine years, he said, the war will be over.

The president spoke after a video-conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. The White House says the two men agreed this is the best way forward for both countries.

The president's announcement fulfills a campaign promise he made more than four years ago.

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12:01am

Fri October 21, 2011
National Security

Does Libya Offer Clues To An Obama Doctrine?

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:08 am

President Obama speaks in the White House Rose Garden to discuss the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama said Moammar Gadhafi's death marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the Libyan people. The seven-month military campaign that toppled the Libyan leader also marks a high point for the kind of international cooperation that Obama has championed.

The White House was careful Thursday not to claim vindication for the president's policies, but the Libyan exercise does offer an example of what an "Obama Doctrine" might look like.

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1:32pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Politics

Obama Takes Aim At Republican Jobs Plan

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 6:51 pm

President Obama speaks at a YMCA in Jamestown, N.C., on Tuesday, during a three-day bus tour to promote his American Jobs Act. During the trip, he has drawn sharp lines between his jobs plan and the competing Republican plan.

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

President Obama's bus tour rolled into Virginia on Tuesday afternoon, after a day and a half in North Carolina.

The president has been using the tour to promote his jobs plan and to criticize an alternative plan put forward by Senate Republicans.

Another Day, Another Diner

Earlier Tuesday, the president stopped at Reid's House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., bypassing the special — spaghetti and Texas toast — in favor of a cheeseburger and sweet tea.

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12:01am

Tue October 18, 2011
Economy

Obama Drives Jobs Plan Message To N.C. Crowds

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 8:20 am

With his bus in the background, President Barack Obama greets people outside of Mast General Store in Boone, N.C., Monday. Obama is on a three-day bus tour promoting the American Jobs Act.

Susan Walsh AP

President Obama is drawing sharp contrasts between his jobs plan and the ideas put forward by Republicans in Congress as he continues his bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia. That may not bring his jobs plan any closer to passing, but it does help frame the argument for the 2012 election.

Obama is urging Congress to pass his jobs bill piece by piece if necessary. And the piece he was highlighting Monday night in an overheated high school gym in Millers Creek, N.C., would use federal tax dollars to help local governments keep teachers and other employees on the payroll.

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1:50pm

Wed October 12, 2011
Job 1: Careers That Shaped The GOP Candidates

Before Politics, Huntsman Aspired To Rock Star Fame

With shaggy hair and skinny jeans, Jon Huntsman (upper right) strikes a pose with his band Wizard.

Courtesy of Politico.com

Third in a series

GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman says he's the most qualified Republican in the White House race, thanks to his background as governor of Utah, a corporate executive, and as U.S. Ambassador to China. But if Huntsman had lived out his youthful ambition, he would have been none of those things.

"My initial passion in life was to be a rock-and-roll musician," Huntsman told graduates at the University of South Carolina in May.

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4:00am

Fri October 7, 2011
Economy

Obama Urges Wall Street Protesters To Back Jobs Plan

Loosely-organized protests that began on Wall Street last month have now spread to other cities across the country. President Obama says he understands the frustration conveyed by prostesters. He's trying to channel public anger with Wall Street into support for his own financial policies.

4:51pm

Tue October 4, 2011
Economy

Obama, Banks Trade Fire In Debit-Card Debate

A man walks up to an ATM machine outside a Bank of America branch in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Bank of America has said it will charge customers a $5 monthly fee to use its debit card — a plan that has set off grumbling from consumer advocates at the highest levels.

Jae C. Hong AP

President Obama has waded into the controversy over bank card fees, suggesting that Bank of America is mistreating its customers with a plan to start charging a $5 monthly fee for the use of its debit card.

In an interview Monday with ABC, the president seemed to suggest the fee could become a target for the federal government's new financial watchdog agency.

"This is exactly why we need this Consumer [Financial] Protection Bureau that we set up, that is ready to go," he said.

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4:00am

Tue October 4, 2011
Business

Obama Sends Trade Agreements To Congress

President Obama has sent to Congress long-delayed trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The deals are hailed as a boon to job creation, but also feared as a threat to existing jobs.

3:18pm

Tue September 27, 2011
Economy

Obama Returns To Familiar Turf To Sell New Stimulus

President Obama says his jobs plan would create tens of thousands of construction jobs by funding public works projects like roads, bridges and school improvements.

The president made that case again Tuesday afternoon, while standing outside Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver.

The Mile High City is familiar turf for Obama: It's where he accepted his party's nomination for the White House three years ago; and it's where he signed the original economic stimulus bill.

At the time, he said it marked the beginning of the end of the nation's economic troubles.

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