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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Solve This
3:47 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Obama, Romney On Taxes: Similar Plans, Few Details

Both President Obama and rival Mitt Romney say the tax code is too complicated. But they haven't been specific about which tax breaks they want to eliminate.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:20 pm

Here's something President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on: America's tax system is too complicated. Both men have outlined changes that are broadly similar, but with some important differences.

The Problem:

Today's tax code is like a department store, where the price tags are high, but there are lots of coupons, sales and weekend specials. That creates some inequities. Just as shoppers can pay different prices depending on which day they buy, taxpayers with the same income can pay very different rates depending on which deductions they qualify for.

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Presidential Race
4:35 am
Sun September 23, 2012

As Candidates Battle From Afar, Key Phrases Stick

President Obama greets supporters during a campaign rally on Saturday in Milwaukee.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 11:43 am

President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, seem to have switched places in recent days.

The incumbent president is promising to change Washington from the outside. Meanwhile, Romney, who made his fortune turning businesses around, says he wants to work within the existing political system.

The contrast was on display Saturday in Wisconsin, where Obama held one of the biggest rallies of his re-election campaign.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Obama Polishes His 'Regular Guy' Image With Beer

President Obama toasts others at the Dubliner Restaurant and Pub in Washington, D.C., on March 17.
Joshua Roberts Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 4:48 pm

There's an old shorthand for likeability in politics: "Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?"

Polls show President Obama has been winning that likeability contest. And he's been raising a lot of frosty mugs on the campaign trail, hoping to press his advantage over the teetotaling Mitt Romney.

The strategy could come to a head in the swing state of Colorado.

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Presidential Race
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Rhetoric Aside, Few Details Of Romney's Tax Plan

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns at PR Machine Works in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.

Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.

When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.

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Politics
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Labor Report Has Romney And Obama On Down Note

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The presidential candidates are back on the campaign trail, sprinting, now that the political conventions are behind them. President Obama and Mitt Romney were both in Iowa and New Hampshire yesterday. Both of their message were affected by some bad news on the job's front as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Around the Nation
5:27 am
Tue September 4, 2012

On Campaign Break, Obama Tours La. Storm Damage

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Having spent much of the summer hammering Mitt Romney, President Obama is working to sell his record this week. Yesterday, administration spokesmen insisted that Americans are better off than they were four years ago.

INSKEEP: That's a change from the previous day's message, when key Obama backers would not make that claim. Yesterday, the president himself pointed to a success story.

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Election 2012
3:04 am
Mon September 3, 2012

In Convention Run-Up, Obama Targets Three States

President Obama waves as he walks on stage during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder on Sunday.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:01 pm

President Obama holds a Labor Day campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, and then flies to Louisiana to inspect the damage from Hurricane Isaac. The Toledo rally is part of a long weekend of campaigning, leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.

The president held a rally with thousands of students at the University of Colorado over the weekend. Just five days earlier, he'd been at Colorado State. Obama is hoping to harness the cross-state rivalry between the schools in the service of his re-election campaign.

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U.S.
5:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Obama To Troops: 'We're Here To Help You'

Members of the military listen to President Obama during his visit to Fort Bliss, Texas, on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 10:09 pm

On Friday, President Obama was at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he spoke to troops and met with military families, including some who lost loved ones in Afghanistan.

As that war winds down, the president is ordering additional help for those with invisible battle scars. A rash of suicides has shown mental injuries can be just as deadly as a roadside bomb.

Surrounded by soldiers in camouflage fatigues, Obama recalled his last visit to Fort Bliss, exactly two years earlier. That was the day he announced a formal end to combat operations in Iraq.

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Election 2012
3:44 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Obama Asks Young Voters 'To Believe'

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 11:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

College students have been heading back to school, and so has President Obama. For the last two weeks, the president has been visiting campuses in swing states around the country. He's been urging students to register and vote. His campaign says it is also working to win the votes of young people who are not in school. Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

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Election 2012
6:16 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Obama Rallies Blunt GOP Criticism From Tampa

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're getting a reminder here of how fiercely competitive this race is. Even as his party's convention is going on, Mitt Romney, campaigning in Indiana and President Obama, of course, not taking the week off - as rival candidates sometimes do during the opponent's convention. He's been making his case the last couple of days in college towns, trying to energize young voters.

And NPR's Scott Horsley is on the road with the president.

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Politics
5:25 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Ahead Of Conventions, Candidates Hone Message

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 9:16 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Republicans and Democrats will talk a lot about the economy during their national conventions over the next couple of weeks. And yet, the man who is about to be nominated by the Republican convention, Mitt Romney, briefly strayed from an economic message yesterday, while speaking in the Detroit suburb of Commerce, Michigan.

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Election 2012
4:23 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Obama Highlights Steps To Affordable Education

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 6:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Battleground states are not always neighbors. And for President Obama, yesterday was one of those days when a candidate stops in one and flies across most of the entire country to another. Mr. Obama was in Ohio and then Nevada, visiting college campuses. This morning he'll keep with the education theme at a high school near Las Vegas. The president has been highlighting steps he's taken to make higher education more affordable.

Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: How many students do we have here?

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Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Romney To Obama On Tax Deal: No, Thanks

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 8:02 pm

After weeks of saying he would not release his tax returns, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday he had checked them and could report he had always paid at least 13 percent annual in federal income tax. But Romney still refuses to make public more of his tax returns, despite a new offer from the Obama campaign.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Obama Campaign Update

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:39 am

President Obama continues his campaign bus trip across Iowa. He's traveling from west to east, drawing sharp contrasts with the Republican ticket. Obama warned some jobs could be in jeopardy if a wind power tax credit is allowed to expire, as Romney has proposed.

Election 2012
4:05 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Democratic Field Offices Boost Obama In Colorado

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Look at the electoral maps put up by political analysts and a few things become clear: President Obama holds an advantage in the state-by-state electoral votes that determine this fall's election.

INSKEEP: But his lead in several key states is narrow, and as of now, the red and blue maps put up by those analysts suggest he is still short of the 270 votes he would need to win.

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Presidential Race
4:52 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Obama, Romney Each Read Jobs Numbers Differently

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 10:43 am

The stock market rallied on Friday's jobs report, with the Dow Jones industrial average jumping more than 200 points. But what do the numbers mean for the political stocks of President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney? That's harder to measure.

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The Aurora Theater Shootings
4:19 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Politicians Shy Away From New Gun Control Efforts

Mourners create a memorial at the fountain of the Aurora Municipal Center after a prayer vigil Sunday for the 12 victims of Friday's mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 10:45 pm

In the days since the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., there's been little discussion of the laws that allowed the gunman to acquire his arsenal.

Authorities say suspect James Holmes, who was arrested at the scene of the shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more, was armed with a modified assault rifle, two pistols, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told CNN this weekend that the guns are not the problem.

Read more
Presidential Race
2:07 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Tax Professionals Scrutinize Mitt Romney's Returns

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Wednesday.
J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 8:58 am

President Obama's campaign continues to hammer presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney over the GOP challenger's refusal to release more of his tax returns. Romney has provided one year's record and promised a second year's worth of returns. But even some of his fellow Republicans now say that's not enough.

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Presidential Race
6:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Obama On The Stump In Virginia

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As Mitt Romney defends his business record, President Barack Obama is on the campaign trail. He'll be in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. today. Yesterday, the president traveled to the Tidewater region of southeastern Virginia, and he continued to make his pitch that he is the best champion for the middle class. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Why New Swing State Of Virginia May Determine Presidency

President Obama clasps hands with Sen. Mark Warner (left), D-Va., and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine during a campaign stop Friday in Virginia Beach, Va.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 4:30 pm

Yes, Virginia, you are this election year's Santa Claus.

And it could be your bag of 13 presidential electoral votes that will be the key to deciding who occupies the White House in January.

Proof of Virginia's gathering importance?

President Obama is in the midst of a two-day Virginia campaign swing. Republican candidate Mitt Romney dispatched former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to counterattack Friday.

The airwaves are awash in campaign ads, and there's a veritable who-has-more-campaign-offices arms race well under way.

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NPR Story
6:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Economy's In Low Gear, But Obama's Bus Keeps Rolling

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Obama's Health Care-Infused, Fire-Stoked Week

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama told residents of Colorado yesterday that the country has their back. The president visited an evacuation center and met with some of the firefighters who have been battling the deadly Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs.

Read more
Election 2012
3:47 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Obama Tells N.H. Voters GOP Philosophy Is Wrong

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's go now to the presidential campaign trail. On the day Supreme Court struck down portions of a controversial Arizona immigration law, President Obama and his rival Mitt Romney tangled over immigration policy. Still, at a political rally yesterday in New Hampshire, Mr. Obama mostly focused on other issues, like the economy. New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, but it's expected to be hotly contested in November.

NPR's Scott Horsley has this report from New Hampshire.

Read more
Election 2012
3:54 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Will Immigration Plan Sway Latinos To Obama's Side?

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 6:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When President Obama addresses a large gathering of Latino politicians later today in Florida, he's likely to get a warm reception. Just last week, Mr. Obama announced that hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants who came to this country as children can stay in the U.S. - at least temporarily.

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Economy
3:46 am
Wed June 20, 2012

G-20 Leaders Promise To Promote Economic Growth

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:08 am

Leaders of the world's biggest economies wrapped up the G-20 summit in Mexico Tuesday with a promise to work together to promote jobs. The meeting comes amid worrisome signs of slowing growth in the United States and elsewhere.

Latin America
2:09 am
Mon June 18, 2012

G-20 Leaders In Mexico Concentrate On Euro Crisis

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 9:39 am

President Obama and other world leaders are gathering in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday for the G-20 summit. They're hoping to get some assurances that European governments are getting control of their financial problems before they become a further drag on the global economy.

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Around the Nation
9:55 am
Fri June 15, 2012

U.S. To Stop Deporting Some Young Illegal Immigrants

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Obama administration is announcing a major change in immigration policy this morning. It affects people who are brought to the U.S. as children illegally. Beginning immediately, these young people can avoid deportation and will be allowed to work in this country. The move could affect as many as 800,000 undocumented residents 30 years old or younger.

Joining us now to talk about the move is NPR's Scott Horsley. He's at the White House. And Scott, who exactly is affected?

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Politics
5:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

In Ohio, Obama Calls For 'Shared Vision' On Economy

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 9:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama's Ohio speech yesterday was designed to draw a contrast between his economic vision and Mitt Romney's. It was also meant to argue that the state of the economy doesn't hand his rival the keys to the White House.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: As initial unemployment claims ticked up again this week, President Obama said he's reminded every day just how tough things still are for many Americans. But he also expressed confidence that by working together, those challenges can be overcome.

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Politics
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Licking Their Wounds, Progressives Regroup

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley in Providence. Netroots Nation is part pep rally, part technology seminar, and - this year at least - part postmortem. Netroots chairman Adam Bonin kicked off the gathering just two days after the Wisconsin vote, which was viewed very differently in this crowd than it was by the audience at CPAC.

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Election 2012
2:02 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Will Economy Push Washington To Make A Deal?

President Obama speaks with House Speaker John Boehner during a meeting at the White House in 2011. A slowdown in job growth and a looming tax deadline could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

The Obama administration is searching for a "sweet spot" in economic policy: measures that could increase job growth right now without worsening the federal deficit. That task gained new urgency this month when the Labor Department reported a sharp slowdown in job growth in May.

The challenge could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.

Read more

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