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The difference in opinions among Tennessee's congressional delegation over the president's upcoming visit to Nashville became apparent soon after the White House's announcement.

Nashville Democrat Jim Cooper quickly offered a short welcome.

"It's always an honor to have a sitting President visit Nashville. I welcome President Obama wholeheartedly and want him to see why the Nashville area is so popular. I hope we will all treat him with Southern hospitality."

A bit later, Williamson County Republican Marsha Blackburn issued a longer welcome that sounded like anything but:

"Welcome to Tennessee. While you're here take a look around because this is what a thriving economy looks like. Despite what your teleprompter may tell you, our success is not a result of your failed policies. It's rooted in what's always made our state and country great- hard work, ingenuity and fiscal responsibility.

"We have the lowest debt ratio in the entire country, have been ranked the top state for Automotive Manufacturing Strength for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year, are continually ranked as the number one state in the country for retirement and are largely considered one of the best states in which to practice medicine.

"Furthermore, in just a few short months hard working Tennesseans will be able to keep a little more of their income because of a fight I led while serving in the State Senate that prevented a state income tax. I knew then what I still know to be true today. When given the opportunity, free people will always be more successful at achieving and securing their own economic freedom than the government.

"All in all these are just a few of the many reasons why Tennessee is consistently ranked as one of the freest states in the country.

"However, we didn't get here overnight. More than a decade ago we dealt with the failed experiment of TennCare, which was the precursor to Obamacare. TennCare tried to bankrupt our state just like how Obamacare promises to do the same for the rest of the country.

"Instead of letting the program ruin our economy, we banded together, made tough decisions and survived TennCare similar to how we will eventually survive Obamacare.

"The Tennessee Volunteer spirit is strong. It has taught us over time that we can weather any storm and fight our way back towards a path to prosperity.

"So enjoy your time in Tennessee and for the sake of the rest of the country, try to take a little bit of the Tennessee Volunteer spirit with you back to the White House."

Original story

President Barack Obama plans to visit Nashville on Thursday as he tours the nation after his State of the Union address, the White House announced today.

"With some action on all our parts, we can help more jobseekers find work, and more working Americans find the economic security they deserve," Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to Obama, wrote to the White House's email list. "That's why, in the week following the speech, President Obama will travel to communities across the country — including Prince George's County Maryland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Nashville, before returning to the White House to outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed."

Keith Maley, a White House spokesman, said he probably wouldn't have any other details today.

The State of the Union address is scheduled for Tuesday at 8 p.m. Central time. In his email, Pfeiffer said the president's speech would be about "opportunity, action and optimism."

"The core idea is as American as they come: If you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed. Your ability to get ahead should be based on your hard work and ambition and who you want to be, not just the raw circumstance of who you are when you're born.

"On Tuesday night, the President will lay out a set of real, concrete, practical proposals to grow the economy, strengthen the middleclass and empower all who hope to join it."

The president spoke at an Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga in July, two months after First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School graduation in Nashville.

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