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Aug 14, 2010 10:54 AM

Obama giving personal assurances of Gulf's safety

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) President Barack Obama is offering his personal assurance that the Gulf region is a safe, clean vacation destination despite the oil spill.

Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha are on the second day of a weekend family vacation in the Florida Panhandle. Obama took Sasha for a swim on Saturday and declared that "beaches all along the Gulf Coast are clean, they are safe, and they are open for business."

The president's dip into Gulf waters happened away from the media. The White House scheduled the 27-hour trip to the Gulf after facing criticism that the president wasn't heeding his own advice that Americans vacation in the region. The first family returns to Washington Sunday evening.

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