The Washington Times - August 31, 2012, 02:41PM

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday that President Obama had decided to go to look at storm damage in Louisiana even before Mitt Romney announced his trip there.

Fresh off accepting the GOP’s presidential nomination, Mr. Romney headed to Louisiana Friday morning. Hours later the White House said Mr. Obama would go too — though he will wait until Monday. On Friday, the president was flying past Louisiana to make an official visit to Ft. Bliss in Texas.


A reporter traveling with the president asked Mr. Carney about the timing: “Had the decision to go to Louisiana on Monday been made before the White House learned that Mitt Romney would be going today?”

“Yes, it had,” Mr. Carney replied.

The chain of events matters. Soon after Mr. Obama’s decision, he began to face charges he was merely following Mr. Romney’s lead.

Influential website Drudge Report posted a banner headline reading: “Obama shifts sked to catch Romney.”

Mr. Carney said the logistics of arranging a presidential visit take planning, and the White House decided Monday was the best time for logistics and so as not to get in the way of recovery efforts.