Stumping in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday, President Obama made a "surprise" 15-minute visit to Usinger's Deli, where he sampled some of the wares before purchasing a kielbasa, an Italian sausage, and a hot sausage. The 3:45 PM meat n' greet also included a few moments of offal interaction with his press pool, whom Mr. Obama declared "cheapskates" before debating the price of the deli delights with a correspondent. (Above: Employees offer the President a sausage sample)
There was even more meaty action: As he left Usinger's, the President was met outside by Fronek handed the President a Styrofoam take-out box with a hot bratwurst sandwich.
The President opened it, took a bite, and declared the sandwich "tasty."
"I am also glad to be in Milwaukee because, before I came out here I was able to have an outstanding sampling of bratwurst from Milwaukee," the President told a rally crowd right after his visit.
Inside Usingers, a landmark since 1880, the President was accompanied by Mayor Tom Barrett as he scoped out the u-shaped counter, filled with sausage and deli meat. He shook hands with the employees, who wore red smocks. (Above, with the Mayor)
"I’ve got to place my order," the President said, after tasting a sample.
Turning to the pool, he instructed them to also buy some sausage: “Don’t be cheapskates,” the President said.
"They wont let me buy food for them," the President said. "It’s against the law."
Mayor Barrett tried to pay for the President's sausages, but got waved away by the Eater in Chief, who insisted on paying for himself. As the employees were wrapping his order, the President was distracted by Bloomberg correspondent Hans Nichols, who was telling White House staff that he was leaving $8 to pay for his own sausages.
"I left $8. I’m not stealing these," Nichols said, waving a package.
"Am I paying for those?" President Obama asked. Nichols informed him that he had left an estimated amount of money.
"How do you know it’s enough?" President Obama asked.
"I left $8. That’s good, solid American currency. I estimated but if it’s not enough I know you’re good for it,” Nichols said.
The pool was then escorted out. Later, as the pool was standing outside waiting for the President to come out of Usingers, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest came out and handed Nichols $4 in change.
Patrons in the deli during the President's visit included a group from the battleground state of Ohio, including a fellow wearing an Ohio State sweat shirt. The President, as he had during a recent Ohio stop, helped the group spell out O-H-I-O with their arms. Mr. Obama did the H, raising his arms above his head (above).
President Obama carried a cardboard box of sausages as he emerged from Usinger's, and that's when he was met by Fronek and offered the hot bratwurst sandwich.
The President's stop in Wisconsin was his ninth since taking office and his second since February. He returns to the White House on Saturday night.
Info: Usinger's is located at 1030 North Old World 3rd Street, Milwaukee, WI, 53203. Phone: 414- 276-9100.