There they go again.
White House officials say President Obama will grant interviews to eight local-television anchors Wednesday to help generate grassroots pressure on congressional Republicans in the current fight over budget cuts.
The move is also likely to intensify a West Wing feud with members of the White House press corps who feel starved for access to the president.
"By speaking to anchors from stations around the country, the president will have an opportunity to focus on the harmful local impacts that will be felt if congressional Republicans refuse to compromise," a White House spokesman said. He added that the GOP doesn't seem genuinely interested in avoiding the harsh spending cuts set to take place automatically next Friday unless an alternative is found.
"In talking with local anchors, he will also have the opportunity to discuss specific, important projects in their communities that stand to benefit from [the president's] initiatives," the spokesman said.
Obama wants a compromise that includes both spending cuts and more revenue. Republicans favor only spending cuts, partly because Obama persuaded Congress to approve higher tax rates on upper-income people in January.
White House officials say the local TV stations are in Boston; Charleston, S.C.; Baltimore; Oklahoma City; Wichita, Kan.; San Antonio San Francisco; and Honolulu.
White House reporters are still simmering because they were shut out of any on-the-record access to Obama during his golfing trip in Florida over Presidents' Day weekend. They say it's part of a pattern to shunt them, making it more difficult to cover the White House. Scheduling the local TV interviews is likely to make the feud even worse.
Obama has used this local-television technique a number of times before, including during his re-election campaign.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.