The President finishes his three-day trip; he'll discuss Medicare at campaign events today...
President Obama began his final day on the campaign trail in Iowa on Wednesday morning with a quick breakfast with three veterans, dining at Riley’s Café and Catering in downtown Cedar Rapids, where he spent the night at the local Marriott. The President arrived at 9:25 AM, and enjoyed two eggs, hash browns, a side of fruit and a glass of orange juice as he talked over the issues in the tiny joint that seats a couple dozen people. The large scrum of media following the President crowded around, and took up most of the space. (Above: The President is seated beside Terry Philips)
"Don't mind all these people, folks," President Obama told his guests, who included Amanda Irish, Jake Krapfl and Terry Philips.
Irish is the first female veteran that has ever dined during such an outing with the President, who was in a light shirt and tan pants, and wore no tie.
As he was ordering, the President apparently made a joke about First Lady Michelle Obama, who will be joining him in Iowa in a few hours; pool speculated it had to do with his side of fruit. He's had lots of treat stops as he traversed the Hawkeye State, and drank plenty of beer.
The President emerged from the restaurant at 10:10 AM and was back on Ground Force One two minutes later, after shaking hands with people crowded around outside the Café. (Above: The President after breakfast)
Following breakfast, he made another "surprise" stop at Cascade High School in Cascade, Iowa, where he met with teachers and school officials.
At events in Davenport and Dubuque today, "The President will talk about how his reforms have strengthened Medicare, saved millions of seniors on Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs and cut the cost of Medicare by cutting wasteful spending out of the healthcare system—without impacting the benefits Medicare recipients receive by even a dime," said Press Secretary Jen Psaki. And he will lay out the choice between his plan and the Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it."
CLICK HERE for all posts about the bus tour.
The bios of the President's guests, courtesy of the White House:
Philips joined the Navy in 1965 when he was 17 years old and served for three years during the Vietnam War in Communications Intelligence. He was stationed in Hawaii for most of the time. Upon completion of his service, he attended the University of Iowa on the GI Bill. Philips is the Chair of the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus. He got involved because he believes the second call of duty is to make sure that his fellow veterans have access to the services available to them and are taken care of. Terry says that this is a shared responsibility and is thankful for the President’s commitment to veterans and their families.
Krapfl served two deployments in Iraq from September 2003 – March 2004 and from December 2004 – March 2005. Today, Jake is a writing instructor at Northeast Iowa Community College. Jake is an advocate for veterans’ mental health, working to raise awareness among other veterans about the importance of taking care of their mental health. He says that President Obama has been an incredible advocate and supporter of veterans. He is married with four children, ages 15, 11, 3 and one.
Irish grew up in Cedar Rapids and joined the military in 2002, right after high school. She was compelled to serve her country after learning in school about those who laid down their lives to protect her and the country. Amanda served for four years in the Marines in the nuclear biological chemical defense. Amanda completed her Bachelors at the University of Iowa and her Master’s in Public Health using the GI Bill. Today, Amanda is a HAZMAT technician in Johnson County and is back in school, preparing to enter medical school. Ultimately, she hopes to become a doctor to help serve other veterans and their families.
Info: Riley’s Café and Catering is located at 4242 Center Point Road Northeast, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Phone: 319-247-5636.
*Top photo by AP/pool; second photo by Cliff Jettie/The Gazette-KCRG TV