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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Economy
6:13 am
Sat February 4, 2012

Job Market Could Help Obama's Election Stock

President Obama speaks about the economy Friday in Arlington, Va. Obama says he wants to "send a clear message to Congress: Do not slow down the recovery that we're on."
Ron Sachs-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 1:05 pm

It turns out January was a surprisingly good month in the job market. U.S. employers added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

That better-than-expected news from the Labor Department triggered a rally in the stock market Friday, with the Dow climbing more than 150 points. The news could also help the stock of President Obama.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

On The Stump: Obama Roams Pivotal Swing States

President Obama is back in Washington Saturday after visiting five different states, all of which are likely to be hotly contested in November. He expanded on some of the ideas he outlined in Tuesday's State of the Union address and offered a preview of the argument he'll be making in the general election. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

On The Road, Obama Pushes U.S. Energy, Manufacturing

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 6:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Take a map of the United States and stick pins in every state President Obama visits this week, and you would have a partial picture of how he hopes to win re-election. The president is visiting states he hopes to win this fall.

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It's All Politics
5:04 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Taking His Economic Message On The Road, Obama Touts Factory Jobs In Iowa

President Obama tours Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

A day after delivering his State of the Union address to Congress, President Obama took his message on the road. Obama hoped that stops at manufacturing sites in Iowa and Arizona would drive home his point that the government should do more to encourage factory jobs.

The three-day trip also includes stops in Colorado, Nevada and Michigan. Those are all states likely to be important in the November election.

Obama kicked off his road trip at Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing, a factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Politics
4:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama Speech Depicts Country At A Crossroads

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama wants to see more tax breaks for manufacturers and fewer tax breaks for millionaires. Those were among the ideas floated in the president's third State of the Union speech last night. Throughout the morning, we're getting reaction to that address.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Romney Says His Tax Burden Is About 15 Percent

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 6:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Even if Wikipedia was working, you couldn't use it to locate information about Mitt Romney's most recent tax filings. He has yet to make that tax information public.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Under pressure from his opponents, Romney says he will release information in April.

MONTAGNE: But yesterday, Romney did let slip a provocative tax detail. He acknowledged he's probably paying an effective tax rate of around 15 percent. And that's well below the rate that many middle-class families pay.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Tue January 17, 2012

GOP Rivals Rachet Up Intensity In S.C. Debate

Under heavy pressure from his rivals, front-runner Mitt Romney defended his record as a venture capitalist. He also insisted he bears no responsibility for attack ads aired by his allies, and grudgingly said he might release his income tax returns this spring.

Around the Nation
8:44 am
Sat January 14, 2012

The Income Gap: Unfair, Or Are We Just Jealous?

Occupy Wall Street members stage a protest march near Wall Street in New York in October. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center says the movement has "crystallized" the idea of economic disparity.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 9:56 pm

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.

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Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Obama Takes Aim At Republican Comments

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 10:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Aides say President Obama won't get deeply involved in the political campaign until Republicans settle on a nominee, but Mr. Obama has already been busy fundraising. Today, his campaign announced that it raised $130 million last year. And as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, even when the president is conducting his official duties, it's easy to sense the political subtext.

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It's All Politics
12:01 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Rivals Attack Romney's Record At Bain Capital

Mitt Romney, when he headed Bain Capital.
David L. Ryan Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 11:49 pm

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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Economy
6:09 am
Sat January 7, 2012

What Jobs Numbers Mean For Obama's Employment

President Obama speaks about jobs in Manchester, N.H., in November. The Labor Department reported Friday that unemployment dropped to 8.5 percent.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat January 7, 2012 1:38 pm

President Obama acknowledged Friday that the economic recovery has a long way to go. Still, he was able to share some good news. The Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent.

"Obviously, we have a lot more work to do," he said, "but it is important for the American people to recognize that we've now added 3.2 million new private-sector jobs over the last 22 months."

Those better-than-expected numbers could help Obama as he tries to hang onto his own job.

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Politics
4:09 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Obama: Recess Appointment Was An 'Obligation'

President Obama campaigned outside Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday, where he announced the appointment of a new consumer watchdog. The president used a recess appointment to install Richard Cordray. That might have been routine, but the Senate is not officially in recess.

Politics
5:00 am
Sat December 31, 2011

After A Year of Struggles, Obama Finds His Footing

President Obama walks onstage Dec. 22 to urge members of Congress to vote on a short-term compromise that extended the payroll tax cut.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 31, 2011 10:05 am

Even as President Obama relaxes with his family in Hawaii over the holidays, he knows what's on the horizon when he returns to work in Washington.

He will start where he left off, facing new skirmishes with Congress over a push to extend a temporary cut in payroll taxes. That temporary extension was approved just days before Christmas after a high-stakes gamble that finished only after most of Congress had left for the year.

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Election 2012
3:46 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Despite Signs Of Hope, Iowa Voters Question Economy

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum emerges from a cornfield during an August campaign stop in Dyersville, Iowa, at the farm where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:32 pm

First in a series

Visiting a metal fabrication plant in Sioux City this December, Mitt Romney touted his successful business background, saying those qualifications are what America needs right now.

"I want to use the experience I have in the world of the free enterprise system to make sure that America gets working again. ... These are tough times," said the Republican presidential candidate. "You guys have jobs. Hope your spouses do. But I know these are tough times."

But not as tough in Iowa as in many other parts of the country.

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It's All Politics
6:15 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

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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Politics
5:20 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

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.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri December 16, 2011

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.

Election 2012
4:25 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

In Iowa, Obama's Campaign Team Rehearses For 2012

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

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

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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Politics
5:12 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Obama Pushes Agenda Despite Losses On The Hill

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

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

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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Politics
4:47 am
Tue December 6, 2011

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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Economy
4:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

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.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Obama Pushes Payroll Tax Cut

President Obama is ramping up his campaign for continuation of a payroll tax cut, which only affects the first $106,000 in individual income. Republicans object, in part because they don't even consider it a tax since the money goes to the Social Security Trust Fund. Democrats see it a progressive tax cut. "Spreading the wealth" is a theme Obama campaigned on four years ago.

Election 2012
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

A Holiday Guide For The Politically Inclined

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

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

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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Economy
4:00 am
Wed November 23, 2011

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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Election 2012
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

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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Politics
4:03 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Obama's Hands-Off Approach To The Supercommittee

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

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

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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Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed November 16, 2011

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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Politics
3:07 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

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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Politics
8:33 am
Sun November 13, 2011

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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Politics
12:01 am
Fri November 11, 2011

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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