Entries in Bus Tour (45)


Herman Cain Says He’s in It to Win It; Wraps Bus Tour in Alabama

Steve Pope/Getty Images(HUNTSVILLE, Ala.) -- After 12 events in two days, Herman Cain wrapped up a whirlwind bus tour through Alabama this weekend, telling residents that their state matters.

“I continue to get reporters asking me why are you in Alabama? And the answer is, why not?!”  Cain told the sold-out crowd at the dinner for the Alabama Federation of Republican Women.

“Alabama matters in this process. The political, so-called experts haven’t quite connected all of the dots yet. Because of all of the jockeying that’s been going on relative to the primary process, Alabama matters because when you hold your primary in March,” explained Cain, “This thing may not be over and I didn’t want to wait till March to come to Alabama and let you know what I stand for!”

What is propelling Cain forward with a seemingly weak infrastructure in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire remains a mystery.

But Cain made it clear that he is running on a unique strategy that is proving successful, based on his high poll numbers.

In the Des Moines Register’s most recent poll, Cain led the GOP pack at 23 percent. Oddly enough, he has spent far less time in Iowa than many of his competitors.

Cain was coy about his strategy as he made his way from Birmingham to Montgomery and then onto Huntsville.

“I don’t want my competitors to know my total strategy and quite frankly, the pundits who say we have the wrong strategy, I want them to continue to think we have the wrong strategy,” said Cain. “But we have been to the early primary states. Here’s what the pundits are missing. We developed a base of support last year and it didn’t go away. So we don’t have to try to build support at the last minute. Are we going back to the early primary states soon? Yes.”

Despite his high poll numbers, Cain has suffered serious public missteps in the last two weeks.

Most notably he called for an electrified fence at the southern border of the United States to keep out illegal immigrants, something he later called a joke. He also had to explain his pro-life stance in light of some seemingly pro-choice statements made in an interview with Piers Morgan.

Campaign staffers blamed the faux pas on a grueling campaign schedule. His misstatements, they said, were the result of him being overtaxed and tired, even saying that the Cain would “dial down” his travel and appearances.

Cain explained, “I wouldn’t say we’re going to dial it down. We’re going to be more deliberate on the type of things we do when I have a very full schedule. For example, in retrospect, doing a taped interview following a debate, following some interviews, probably wasn’t a good idea because you know I’m only a human being. And you reach a point where if you’re too tired, you’re not on you’re A game. When we say dial it down, we simply mean we’re going to balance it out such that I can be on my A game every time I have to do an interview.”

Most of the venues that Cain went to in Alabama attracted a swell of supporters.

Three of his five events on Friday were standing room only, with many well-wishers missing the chance to take a picture or get an autograph from the former Godfather Pizza CEO.

Many were just happy that he had decided to visit their state.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First Lady Joins Obama Bus Tour, Touts Jobs for Vets

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy(HAMPTON, Va.) -- First Lady Michelle Obama brought some positive news to her husband’s jobs campaign during her first appearance on the president’s three-day American Jobs Act bus tour.

In front of more than two thousand retired and active duty service members and their families, the first lady announced that 270 companies plan to hire 25,000 veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013.  

“These are bold commitments, and these are companies that are making these pledges not just because it's the right thing to do or because it feels patriotic; they're also doing it because it's good for their bottom line, it's good for business, because they know that veterans and military spouses, like all of you here today, represent the best our country has to offer.  And they want you on their team,” Mrs. Obama told the crowd at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va.

The president also heralded the companies, which include names like Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods, and Hewlett-Packard, saying the announcement is a “testament to these businesses’ commitment to this country.”

“We ask you to fight, to sacrifice, to risk your lives for our country.  The last thing you should have to do is fight for a job when you come home -- not here, not in the United States of America,” Obama told the service members.

While the president had high praise for the new initiative, he made clear “we’ve got more work to do” and urged lawmakers to act on the portion of the American Jobs Act that would provide tax breaks for companies that hire veterans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


He's Off: Obama Heading to Martha's Vineyard for 10 Day Family Vacation

TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Fresh off three days of barnstorming in the Midwest, President Obama will spend Thursday morning at the White House in two closed-door meetings, first with his senior economic advisors in the Oval Office then with his national security team in the Situation Room. And then it's off for some R&R. In the afternoon, Obama heads to the island oasis of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, where he’s expected to spend the next 10 days vacationing with his family.

The trip -- the Obamas’ third consecutive to the Vineyard -- comes in spite of some criticism from Republicans and members of his own party that he remain in Washington to focus on the economy.

"We've got to be doing every single thing we can, every minute of every day to help the American people,” Obama told a crowd Wednesday in Alpha, Illinois -- the last stop on his bus tour.

White House press secretary Jay Carney has said Obama will continue to work on the economy even while he is away.

"I don't think Americans out there would begrudge that notion that the president would spend some time with his family,” Carney told reporters last week.

He added, "There's no such thing as a presidential vacation.  The presidency travels with you.  He will be in constant communication and get regular briefings from his national security team as well as his economic team.  And he will, of course, be fully capable if necessary of traveling back if that were required.  It's not very far."

Copyright 2011 aBC News Radio


Obama’s Warm Midwest Welcome Stands in Contrast to Road Ahead

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama spent the last three days traveling throughout the Midwest promoting his proposals to get the economy moving again and telling Americans that he shares their frustration with partisan gridlock in Washington.

Take a look at the numbers, however, and one could easily argue that Obama has been barking up the wrong tree.  The president’s three-state economic bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois brought him to small Democratic-leaning towns and to states where his approval rating is above the national average.

Add to that the fact that all three states he visited have unemployment rates well below the national 9.2 percent average, and what resulted were largely supportive crowds.

The political reality facing the president, however, is much bleaker.  On Wednesday, the president’s approval rating on the economy hit a new low of just 26 percent, according to Gallup, an 11-point drop since May.

The new figure highlights the long road ahead for the president to convince Americans that he can right the faltering economy following the contentious debt debate and the nation’s first ever credit downgrade.

Although the White House claimed the trip was purely official business, the president spent the last three days honing his campaign pitch, telling Americans, “We’ll get through this moment of challenge,” and, “What’s broken is our politics.”

Looking ahead to 2012, voters can expect the president to paint himself as the rational alternative to Republicans who put party ahead of country.

At every stop along the way, the president tried to “enlist” Americans to urge lawmakers to work together to take the necessary steps to grow the economy.

In the coming weeks, the president will put forth his own jobs plan, which will likely resemble the “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit through spending cuts and revenue increases that he pushed during last month’s debt debate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Offers Insight into Jobs Plan

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(ATKINSON, Ill.) -- At a town hall in rural Illinois on Wednesday, President Obama offered some hints about what can be expected in the new jobs plan that he will announce next month.

"[The] bottom line is this," Obama said, "We'll have more spending cuts than we have revenue, but we're going to have to take a balanced approach, and everything's going to be on the table, including our long-term obligations," the president said in Atkinson, Ill., a town with a population of 1000.

Obama said that he’s going to present a plan that has more deficit reduction than the $1.5 trillion that the super-committee has been tasked with identifying, “because I don't think it's good enough for us to just do it part way.  If we're going to do it, let's go ahead and fix it," he said.

“You can't take things off the table," Obama stressed, noting that he is "concerned" that Speaker of the House John Boehner has assigned lawmakers to the super-committee that have signed a pledge vowing not to increase taxes.

The president said that Republicans in Congress should focus on putting "country first," not their loyalty to a pledge. "I take an oath," the president said. "I don't go around signing pledges, because I want to make sure that every single day, whatever it is that's going to be best for the American people."

"And that's how I think every representative in Congress should be thinking, not about some pledge that they signed for some special interest group or some lobbyist or some association somewhere. They should be waking up, thinking: What's best for the country?" Obama said.

The refusal to budge on taxes is a concern that the president extends to the Republican presidential candidates, who have all said they would not support a deficit reduction package that included a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases.

"That's just not common sense," Obama said. "I can't imagine that's how Atkinson runs its operations."

The president continued to reprimand lawmakers in Congress for failing to work together to grow the economy and reiterated that "the only thing holding us back is our politics."

Once again, Obama tried to "enlist" the crowd in the fight to end partisan gridlock in Washington. "I need you to send a message to folks in Washington: stop drawing lines in the sand, stop engaging in rhetoric instead of actually getting things done," he said.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Slams Obama's Tour, Vacation, Debt Deal

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Just as President Obama’s three-day bus tour rolled into Illinois on Wednesday, GOP candidate Mitt Romney called into a Chicago radio station, slamming the president’s trip and expanding on his criticism of the debt deal.  

“We would not be seeing the president on a bus tour had his first 932 days in office been successful,” Romney told ABC News’ radio affiliate WLS 890 AM Chicago. “The fact is it’s been a pretty rocky road. He has not got the job done.”

“And he’s hoping that by three days on a bus, he can make up for hundreds of days of failure,” said Romney on the Don Wade & Roma show.


The Romney campaign has dubbed the president’s bus tour as the “Magical Misery Tour,” releasing two web videos in as many days that feature residents in the towns visited by Obama discussing their unhappiness with the administration.

Romney also criticized the president’s upcoming trip to Martha’s Vineyard.

“If I were president today, I wouldn’t be looking to go spend ten days on Martha’s Vineyard. Now, Martha’s Vineyard is in my home state of Massachusetts so I don’t want to say anything negative about people vacationing there. But if you’re the President of the United States, and the nation is in crisis, and we’re in a jobs crisis right now, then you shouldn’t be out vacationing,” said Romney.

The former Massachusetts governor will also visit Martha’s Vineyard later this month -- while the president is on the island -- but the campaign says it will be for a quick fundraising event and not for a vacation.

Asked about his thoughts on the so-called "super committee" created as a result of the debt deal, Romney acknowledged that there are “some procedural advantages” in that the report developed by the 12-member committee cannot be amended, only voted up or down.

Still, Romney reiterated that he did not support the deal.

“The idea that we’re either going to have to raise taxes or cut the military, is in my opinion, like saying ‘are you going to cut off your right arm or your left arm?’” said Romney.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


While in Iowa, Obama Makes Surprise Stops in Small Towns

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(PEOSTA, Iowa) -- While the White House continues to assert that President Obama’s bus tour is purely official business, Obama spent Tuesday afternoon making surprise stops in small towns across Iowa, in what looked a lot like campaigning.

After wrapping up the Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa, Obama headed to Maquoketa to visit the local high school.  The president spent time with the volleyball team, who were practicing ahead of the start of school next week, taking photos with the girls and making small talk about their summers.  He also spoke with the school superintendent.

For his next stop, Obama grabbed some ice cream at the DeWitt Dairy Treats, where he greeted patrons and took photos with the staff.

The president stepped up to the window and ordered a big cone of soft serve alongside Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Obama, who took orders for his team, also asked the press if they wanted anything.

“You sure?  This is the last time I’m gonna buy you anything,” Obama said when members of the media declined.

Finally, the president stopped in LeClaire, Iowa, along the Mississippi River, where he perused the wares at Grasshoppers craft store and spoke with the store’s owner.

The president joked that the owner’s dog looked a bit like Bo.

“He's kind of like Bo because he just stood there and wouldn't sit," the president said.

Obama then greeted the crowd of locals gathered across the street at the So Loco Fresh restaurant and signed some autographs.

The president will next head to Illinois on Wednesday, where he'll wrap up his three-day bus tour holding two town halls in Atkinson and Alpha.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Launches Bus Tour amid Republican Criticism

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(CANNON FALLS, Minn.) -- President Obama embarked on his three-day, three-state "rural economic bus tour" in Minnesota on Monday, while Republicans unleashed a flurry of attacks on the trip as blatant campaigning at taxpayer expense.

"I am very pleased to be out of Washington," Obama said as he took the stage at a town hall event in Cannon Falls, Minn., about 45 miles southeast of Minneapolis.

Obama, tie-less with shirt sleeves rolled up, roamed microphone in hand as he reprised his economic stump speech of recent weeks. He heaped pressure on Congress to pass measures he says would spur job growth, such as a payroll tax cut extension and new infrastructure projects, and rallied supporters to join him in the cause.

"I'm here to enlist you in a fight," Obama said, striking tones reminiscent of his election campaign, "we are here to fight for the future of our country."

The Republican National Committee, which dubs the excursion Obama's "debt end tour" (the tubthumping trip earned the equally stinging "Magical Misery Tour" from the Romney camp) released a series of scathing Web videos and radio ads in three Midwest states, blasting the president for his handling of the economy.

"We're not going to stand idly by while this president perpetrates this fraud of a bus tour while using taxpayer dollars to spin his failure to put America back to work," RNC chairman Reince Priebus told reporters on a conference call from Cannon Falls.

Obama will hold similar events in Decorah, Peosta, and Atkinson, Iowa, and Alpha, Ill., all billed by the administration as opportunities for the president to engage with average citizens in middle America and hear their ideas for spurring job growth.

While Republicans cast the president's trip -- coming on the heels of the Ames Straw poll -- as political, the White House has defended it as an opportunity for Obama to meet with "real folks in real places" off the beaten path.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Dubs Obama's Bus Trip the 'Magical Misery Bus Tour'

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- A new web video and harsh criticism emerged from the Mitt Romney camp Monday as President Obama launched his three-day bus tour that will make stops in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

Dubbing the president’s trip the “Magical Misery bus tour,” Romney said in a statement that “it is unlikely President Obama will speak with unemployed Americans, to near-bankrupt business owners, or to families struggling to survive in this economy.”

“He is more interested in campaigning in swing states than working to solve the economic crisis that is crushing the middle class,” said Romney. “Turning this economy around will require real leadership and the experience of someone who has actually worked in the private sector.”

And in the web video titled “Obama Isn’t Working: Minnesota,” the campaign interviews several Minnesotans ahead of the president’s visit.

One such interviewee, Joseph Bromley of Minnetonka, Minn., says in the video, “In the last election I voted for Barack Obama and I just feel like I can’t.”

This is the 14th web video the campaign has produced since making the campaign official in early June.

While Obama is in Minnesota on Monday, Romney will hold two campaign events in New Hampshire.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Approval Hits All-Time Low in Gallup Poll

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s approval rating has sunk to 39 percent in the latest Gallup daily tracking poll, the lowest score of his presidency.

The survey, based on a three-day rolling average, also found that a majority of Americans -- 54 percent -- disapprove of Obama’s job handling, a new high.

Battered by several weeks of bad economic news and a bruising debate over the debt ceiling, Obama sets out on an official bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois on Monday aimed at selling his plan for economic growth, reclaiming the media spotlight that has been dominated by Republicans, and building support among Midwest voters.

The destinations are no accident: recent state-by-state polling by Gallup found that Obama’s approval ratings in Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois are currently above the national average.

In Minnesota, 52 percent of voters approve of Obama’s job handling, while 49 percent approved in Iowa and 54 percent in Illinois, Gallup found. 

The national average for the first half of 2011 was 47 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio