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
3:56 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Job Trend More Than A Blip, But U.S. 'Can't Stop'

President Obama speaks after touring Rolls-Royce Crosspointe engineering plant in Virginia on Friday. Obama declared America "will thrive again" after another encouraging report on jobs growth.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 12:49 pm

The American job market is still a long way from healthy, but its pulse feels a lot stronger now than it did six months ago. The Labor Department says employers added 227,000 workers to their payrolls in February, a solid — if not spectacular — performance. It continues a trend that suggests a genuine recovery, not a temporary blip.

The unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, even as nearly 500,000 people joined the workforce.

Improvement in the job market is a boon for President Obama as he tries to hold onto his own job in November.

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Politics
3:00 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Obama Counters Republican Strategies On Iran

President Obama held a wide-ranging news conference Tuesday. He bluntly challenged Republican critics of his Iran policy — saying the stakes are too high to let politics intrude. The news conference was designed to steal some of the spotlight from GOP presidential hopefuls on Super Tuesday.

Presidential Race
1:57 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Obama Campaign Ramps Up Efforts Early In Virginia

President Barack Obama speaks to students at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, on February 13, 2012. Obama's campaign is ramping up efforts in Virginia in what is sure to be a battleground state in the general election.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 11:38 am

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.

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Mitt Romney
11:02 am
Fri February 24, 2012

From George Romney To Mitt, A Shrinking Tax Rate

Mitt Romney holds a poster of his father, given to him at a campaign rally in Spartanburg, S.C., in January.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:00 am

Mitt Romney gave a major economic speech Friday, in which he stressed his plan to lower personal income taxes.

Romney's own taxes became an issue last month, when he acknowledged paying a lower tax rate than many middle-class families.

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Politics
5:00 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Budget Watchdog To Candidates: Back Up Tough Talk

Republican presidential hopefuls have had a field day attacking President Obama for the federal government's trillion-dollar deficits and promising things will be different when the GOP is in charge.

But while the candidates talk a good game about stemming the tide of red ink, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says their proposals don't necessarily add up.

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Economy
4:25 am
Sat February 18, 2012

'Made In The USA' Not Enough For Campaign Trail

An employee welds a stainless steel tank at JV Northwest in Camby, Ore. U.S. factories have boosted output, and busier factories are helping drive the U.S. economy.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Sat February 18, 2012 2:17 pm

Hourly workers at General Motors will soon be getting profit-sharing checks of up to $7,000 each after the automaker reported record earnings this week. President Obama may also get a political dividend, two and a half years after a government-engineered turnaround.

Obama reminded a group of United Auto Worker members this week that, back in 2009, his rescue of GM and Chrysler had plenty of critics.

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Politics
11:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Obama's Budget: Political Tool Or Spending Plan?

Copies of of President Obama's fiscal 2013 federal budget are readied for shipment Thursday at the Government Printing Office in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 10:57 am

Deficit reduction takes a back seat to job growth in the federal budget President Obama will unveil Monday. The spending plan forecasts more red ink in the current fiscal year than in 2011. Under the president's plan, budget deficits wouldn't reach a sustainable level until 2018.

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Politics
4:57 am
Sat February 11, 2012

New Contraceptive Plan: A Successful Balancing Act?

President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announce the revamping of his contraception policy, at the White House on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 4:53 pm

The White House is trying to mend fences with Catholics and others who were outraged at a new rule governing insurance coverage for birth control.

That policy would have required Catholic hospitals, universities and other institutions to cover birth control in their employees' health insurance. Critics called that an assault on religious freedom.

President Obama announced a change of course Friday, and the White House is hoping to regain religious allies and maintain support from the women who voted for Obama.

A Change Of Policy

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Health
5:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Poll: Many Catholics Support Birth Control Coverage

A new federal policy would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

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.

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Economy
5:13 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 12:05 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
7:00 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
3:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

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

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:35 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
4:04 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
3:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama Speech Depicts Country At A Crossroads

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 7:20 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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NPR Story
3:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Romney Says His Tax Burden Is About 15 Percent

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 5:27 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
3:00 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
7:44 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 8:56 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
2:00 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Obama Takes Aim At Republican Comments

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 9:12 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
11:01 pm
Mon January 9, 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 10:49 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
5:09 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 12:38 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
3:09 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
4:00 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 9:05 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
2:46 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 6:32 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
5:15 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
4:20 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.

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