Obama Sets Sights On Rural America To Talk Jobs

President Barack Obama is headed to Midwestern states critical for his re-election after a summer of discontent over a protracted debt showdown with Republicans and the downgrade in the nation's credit rating.

Obama's bus tour, his first as president, begins Monday and will take him to prairie communities in Minnesota and through Iowa and Illinois, with stops in the farmland and rural towns that launched his first White House bid.

The former Illinois senator is expected to tell audiences that he agrees with their frustrations about a dysfunctional federal government.

"What we've seen in Washington the last few months has been the worst kind of partisanship, the worst kind of gridlock — and that gridlock has undermined public confidence and impeded our efforts to take the steps we need for our economy," Obama said Thursday in Michigan. "It's made things worse instead of better."

Obama won a clean sweep in 2008 of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan, a region that has supported Democratic presidential candidates since 2000, except for President George W. Bush's narrow victory in Iowa in 2004.

But Obama's standing in these states, like elsewhere, has grown precarious as the economy has slumped.

Republican governors are now in charge in three of those five states and Obama's approval rating, as measured by Gallup, is hovering around 50 percent in most of the region.

"We got a president who got a decrease in the credit rating of our nation, and that's because our president simply doesn't understand how to lead and how to grow an economy," Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said in Thursday's candidates' debate in Iowa.

Romney and his Republican rivals blamed Obama for the growth of the federal deficit and the credit downgrade by Standard and Poor's, the first in the nation's history.

The Republican race intensified with Texas Gov. Rick Perry's entry Saturday. When Obama arrives at a town hall meeting in Decorah, Iowa, on Monday afternoon, Perry intends to meet with voters in eastern Iowa, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.

Nationally, Obama's approval rating is comparable to President Ronald Reagan's ratings in August 1983. But recent Gallup polls found that Obama's approval rating was hovering between 44 percent and 49 percent in 10 states closely watched by his political advisers. Those states include Iowa, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida.

Obama's standing with independents, who helped him win in traditionally Republican states such as Indiana and North Carolina, has fallen, too.

"The country is in an unbelievably angry mood," said Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

Most presidents like to get away from the nations' capital, and this excursion couldn't come at a better time.

As a candidate, Obama said he would tame Washington's gridlock. Yet it was political paralysis that scuttled his quest for a "grand bargain" with congressional Republicans on increasing the country's borrowing limit and forced him to agree to smaller spending cuts without higher taxes on the rich, as he demanded.

Days later, Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating and stocks on Wall Street plummeted, undermining confidence in an economic turnaround. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that economic growth had been "considerably slower" than expected this year and outlined a glum forecast.

Obama will have a tough sales job on the road. Unemployment is high, home foreclosures are rampant and Wall Street is jittery.

While considered official White House travel, the bus tour will put Obama in campaign-like settings with small-business owners and workers in rural areas.

If 2008 was about hope and change, 2012 may be about hard-knuckle politics. Behind the scenes, Obama advisers are planning to draw sharp contrasts with some of the leading Republicans.

Yet Obama also finds himself under pressure from the left to generate jobs and raise taxes on the wealthy.

Most Democrats, said Justin Ruben of the liberal group MoveOn.org, "have not been offering a clear prescription for actually getting the economy moving."

Obama told workers in Michigan that he plans to roll out more economic plans "that will help businesses hire and put people back to work." That's an approach Democrats hope will set the tone for next year's election in the Midwest and beyond.


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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Aug 16, 2011 at 09:51 AM
    OH, finally a libterd rings into this story. "and.." is such an example of libterdial behavoir. Notice he is dreaming...good, , no values, very good, GOP Klown car...also right off the libterdial web sites..classic and he goes after Bush...now that is a classic libterd if I have ever seen one. Same message, no substance, no plan and no sense to be made of it and lays his blame on someone else. Sound familiar? Just like Obama!
  • by and... on Aug 16, 2011 at 08:59 AM
    In you revisionist rant you failed to mention Nixon being a crook, Reagan being a puppet of his handlers and george Dubya bush not following in his fathers footsteps and started TWO WARS WITH NO EXIT PLAN. Your good ol days of the women at home and two cats in the yard are over. Sadly ALL the Elected people are to blame. It is the Direction that they Pushed America and unlike you I blame everyone one that is elected. Time for some indi party
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil co on Aug 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM in reply to and...
      Nice theory, whether nixon or Regan had anything to do with anything, I pointed out the failed direction Obama has been heading. It never worked then and anytime its been tried. Economists will tell you that is a Keynesian strategy that is prone to fail with only a short term gain, it then fails again. Now the direction the country is going in...consider the super majority in both houses is broken as of 2010 for a reason. The senate couldn't have been converted based on the polls and seats avaiable for election. The direction you are headed will drive the senate and the president out. But it doesn't matter, when it has happened all we ever hear is excuses of why you lost. It never has to do with the majority and the direction the country votes them to go, its always and new excuse. Why its a win fail cycle!
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Aug 15, 2011 at 04:11 PM
    Well, its now time for "Famous Libterdial Solutions" with OSOC. So todays story is about the start of the most famous libertial presidents, Woodrow Wilson. He pushed the the congress to raise taxes on the weathy since the economy was doing poorly. He thought they should pay their fair share. So jobs became rare and low paying. Shortly...Roosevelt took over the libterdial party as the next democrat, thinking that spending would be the solution to job creation and hey, he did. All kinds of public works job for the legal masses that were looking to survive the great depression but the economy still struggled. Banks were gone or bankrupcy...it was a sad time. Roosevelt thought he could spend the country out of it, however, this went on for years, until WWII. That created jobs since foreign countries needed US weapons and started to bring the economy back. However, until Roosevelt died, Truman took over with a new fresh approach. He cut the high taxes on the wealthy and all of a sudden, the country recovered and good times were back to America. Americans were working and jobs were in available easy to find. So, now enters the chosen one...yeah, Oblamabush with his tax and spend, Wilson Roosevelt thinking. So we are repeating the past to duplicate the failures as we have done so many times before. Then the kids weigh in to defend Obamas old libterdial policies since this is what the libterdial sites teach them. The wonder why anyone would support the GOP and not the libterdial leader Obama. Well, since they will face paying off his spending bill their entire life, the GOP is trying to pay it down so they can have things like cars, houses and maybe families. Although, some should never procreate ever, the opportunity to change and become an American is always there. So I hope this lesson in history helps and remember, when the koolaid doesn't work for ya, get genuine Obama Snake Oil. Since 2008!
    • reply
      by and... on Aug 16, 2011 at 08:37 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
      I keep dreaming that something of value comes out of the GoP Klown car .... not looking good best thing so far is the george "two war" duBYa bush lookalike...
  • by Anonymous on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM
    You know you belong to the Tea Party if you believe any of the GOP candidates have a chance of winning against President Obama.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:21 AM
    The choice in 2012 will be very stark between radical extremism of the Tea Party Republican type who are ready and prepared to blow up the economy and President Obama.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:21 AM
    The choice in 2012 will be very stark between radical extremism of the Tea Party Republican type who are ready and prepared to blow up the economy and President Obama.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:16 AM
    Republican­s are big on fear mongering, long on cuts and short on ideas to improve the nation. Every idea they have is "how to give something up" rather than how to make things better. When the Republican­s have a valid way to fix anything without dismantlin­g anything, I will listen. So far that has not happened in 10 years. If you have an Idea, my ears are wide open.
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Aug 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM in reply to
      Did you just land on this planet are have you been under a rock for a long time? Don't worry about dismantling anything, Obama pretty much took care of that for your kids kids with all the spending he did in the name of dope and mange.
  • by Larry on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:11 AM
    Republican­s are big on fear mongering, long on cuts and short on ideas to improve the nation. Every idea they have is "how to give something up" rather than how to make things better. When the Republican­s have a valid way to fix anything without dismantlin­g anything, I will listen. So far that has not happened in 10 years. If you have an Idea, my ears are wide Read More... open. I have put forward ideas that do not take away but give solid workable solutions. I am sure in this nation, there are plenty of others who have good ideas.
  • by Wanda on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM
    The President has been trying from his first day in office to put through measures to boost job creation. Again and again, he's been met with Republican obstructio­n - or what I like to call the GOP Jobs Blockade. During the first two years of Obama's presidency­, the GOP Jobs Blockade took the form of undemocrat­ic and unpreceden­ted number of filibuster­s in the US Senate, slowing down the government­'s response, and blocking needed action on job creation. And since the Republican­s took over the House in last November's elections, the GOP Jobs Blockade turned into active efforts to kill 3 million jobs.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Aug 15, 2011 at 06:49 AM
    Well it looks like Barack Obama is ready to tell some more lies to people based out of the Midwest sugar coating the facts. I can't beleive anything he says anymore he has lied so much for his own personal gain.
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