WASHINGTON — President Obama is returning to New Hampshire this weekend, making his third trip to the key swing state this year.
The White House announced his trip Monday, saying he would be participating in several political campaign events, but did not release details.
Although the Granite State has a mere four electoral votes, Obama and his presumptive Republican rival Mitt Romney have been aggressively pursuing the state’s independent-minded electorate. Under some election scenarios, its four electoral votes could be the ones that will decide the election.
For Romney, the state is both personal and political. It is his summer residence and has been the staging ground for many important marking points of his candidacy. The campaign had planned to announce Paul Ryan as Romney’s vice president in the state last Friday, but a memorial service in Ryan’s congressional district forced them to stage the announcement instead in Norfolk, Va.
Obama has also sent his wife, Michelle, and Vice President Joe Biden to campaign events in the state.
Recent poll results show the race to be close in New Hampshire. A WMUR poll last month, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, had Obama with support from 49 percent of likely voters, compared with 45 percent for Romney. The result was within the survey’s 4.3 percentage point margin of error.
The candidates had generally secured support from their bases — 89 percent of Democrats said they supported Obama, and 86 percent of Republicans said they supported Romney — but independents were evenly split between the two candidates.
Boehner hails GOP ticket, recounts Ryan’s early work
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — House Speaker John Boehner hasn’t forgotten the help he got from the Ohio college student who staked up the campaign signs during Boehner’s first congressional run. Twenty years later, that student, Paul Ryan, is the Republican candidate for vice president.
‘‘I couldn’t be more proud of our ticket,’’ Boehner, Republican of Ohio, said Monday during a breakfast fund-raiser for Jason Plummer, the GOP nominee for an open southern Illinois congressional seat.
Boehner said Democrats were ‘‘almost gleeful’’ that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had chosen Ryan as a running mate as he opposes President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
‘‘But I’ll tell you what — I’ll put Paul Ryan in a debate with Joe Biden any day,’’ Boehner said. He likened the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman’s charisma and good looks to John F. Kennedy’s, never mind that Kennedy won the White House in 1960 as a Massachusetts Democrat.
Boehner said he considers Ryan, the House budget chairman, well-suited for the job. ‘‘There’s nobody who knows more about the debt crisis we face than Paul Ryan,’’ he said. Romney’s confidence in Ryan, Boehner submitted, shows Republicans, independents ‘‘and, frankly, President Obama, we’re on offense.’’
House asks federal court to enforce Holder subpoena
WASHINGTON — The Republican-run House asked a federal court Monday to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding that he produce records on a bungled gun-tracking operation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
The lawsuit asked the court to reject a stance taken by President Obama asserting executive privilege, a legal position designed to protect certain internal administration communications from disclosure.
The failure of Holder and House Republicans to work out a deal on the documents led to votes in June that held the attorney general in civil and criminal contempt of Congress. The civil contempt resolution led to Monday’s lawsuit.
Holder refused requests by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hand over — without preconditions — documents that could explain why the Justice Department initially denied in February 2011 that a risky tactic was used to allow firearms to ‘‘walk’’ from Arizona to Mexico.
Federal agents lost track of many of the guns. The operation identified more than 2,000 illicitly purchased weapons, and some 1,400 of them have yet to be recovered.
The department failed to acknowledge its incorrect statement for 10 months.
The Justice Department previously said that it would not bring criminal charges against its boss. Democrats have labeled the civil and criminal contempt citations a political stunt.