The White House on Monday defended President Obama’s plans to fly with British Prime Minister David Cameron to attend a first-round game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Dayton, Ohio.

“It’s an opportunity for the president and the prime minister to spend some time together outside of the official trappings of Washington and the White House, and an opportunity for the president to show the prime minister a slice of American life,” said presidential spokesman Jay Carney.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron, who will be in Washington for an official state visit, will fly from Washington to Dayton on Air Force One Tuesday evening for the first-round game between Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State. Mr. Obama is an avid basketball fan.

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