Entries in Bus Tour (45)


Obama Begins Three-Day Bus Tour to Jump-Start Reelection Campaign

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will be getting out of Washington for the next three days, but it won't be for a little R&R.

With the economy foundering and Republicans taking potshots at his time in office, the president is traveling by bus to Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois in hopes of reconnecting with voters who helped him win those states in 2008.

The White House is leaving nothing to chance with the election less than 15 months away and polls showing Obama's approval rating consistently under 50 percent.  In fact, a new Gallup poll released over the weekend showed just 39 percent approve of the job the president is doing, compared to 54 percent who disapproved -- a testimony to how worried Americans are about the economy.

However, the president can take solace in the fact that the public's contempt for Congress is even greater, and no Republican yet has shown -- at least in surveys -- that he or she can defeat the incumbent at this point.

It's believed that Obama will continue to seize on a strategy borrowed from the late President Harry S. Truman in which he blames Capitol Hill lawmakers for the logjam in Washington, and for preventing his administration from passing meaningful legislation to create jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Set to Hit the Road for Bus Tour, Vacation

Official White House photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is preparing to pack his bags and head out of town, first to Minnesota for a Midwest bus tour that starts Monday, then to a seaside compound on Martha’s Vineyard, where he’s slated to spend several days with his family.

"The president's family is going on vacation. He's going to join them if he can," senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said on GMA.

While Axelrod appeared to hint at a possible change in the president’s plans, White House officials said later Obama still intends to “spend some time with his wife and two daughters in Martha’s Vineyard,” traveling to Massachusetts on Thursday.  

But itineraries can always change.

While criticism of a presidential vacation is not unusual, particularly from political opponents, Obama has faced increasing pressure -- some from within his own party -- to remain in Washington to take bold steps to address the lagging economy.

“Barack Obama is missing in action,” former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Thursday night, calling on the president to cancel his vacation and call Congress back into session.

Congress is out of Washington until after Labor Day, with many congressional leaders are engaged in fundraisers, campaigning and vacations of their own.

Obama has said Congress has the power to approve a number of economic measures that could immediately help create jobs. But he’s voiced reluctance to take the unusual step of calling them back to act now.

"The last thing we need is Congress spending more time arguing in D.C.," Obama said Thursday in Holland, Michigan.  

So while both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue allow the air to clear, Obama intends to keep sailing ahead.

The president’s whereabouts are “not a measure of working on the problem,” Axelrod said. “He is working on the problem all the time.”  

The president met at the White House Friday to talk about jobs with a selection of business leaders and CEOs, including those from Xerox, American Express, U.S. Bank, and Johnson & Johnson, officials said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Visit Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois on Bus Tour

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s economy-themed bus tour next week will start in southern Minnesota, cut across northeast Iowa, and end in western Illinois, the administration announced Tuesday.

“The president will discuss ways to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and accelerate hiring in communities and towns across the nation and hear directly from Americans, including local families and small business owners,” the White House said in a statement.

When Obama arrives in the Midwest battlegrounds he will encounter unemployment levels that are at or below the national average.

In Minnesota and Iowa, the unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively, according to the latest Labor Department statistics. In Illinois, unemployment is at 9.2 percent, roughly the national average.

White House aides have said Obama’s trip is official business, allowing the president an opportunity to engage directly with average Americans and explain his plans for encouraging job growth nationwide. But some Republicans have criticized the tour, which comes just days after a GOP presidential debate and straw poll in Iowa, as political campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime.

Either way, presidential visits to three states, which Obama won in 2008 and have 36 electoral votes up for grabs in 2012, can’t hurt.

Obama’s approval ratings in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois are currently above the national average, according to the latest Gallup survey, and he undoubtedly wants to keep it that way.

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


Palin Scolds Media for Seeking 'Scuttlebutt'; Posts Video of Tour

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin isn't relying on the media to tell the story of her "One Nation" tour.

On Wednesday, she posted a statement on alluding to the media's focus on her unconventional interpretation of Paul Revere's midnight ride.  She also posted her own clip reel of highlights from her visits to the Northeast's historic sites.

"Even though the media too often sadly chose soundbites over substance, they did get lots of substance during our 'One Nation' tour from the nearly two dozen opportunities I got to speak candidly with them and talk about policy, politics, history and everything in between," she wrote.  "Not surprising, some members of the media missed a lot of this due to their relentless and futile search for scuttlebutt.  So, we assembled this video to capture the amazing Americana spirit of the places and people we visited."

Palin emphasized that "we'll keep moving forward...and we'll keep reporting on it ourselves."

The former Alaska governor is due to relaunch her tour in the coming weeks to visit the West Coast, Iowa and South Carolina.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Five GOP Contenders Sign on to Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Five Republican contenders -- Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum -- have signed on to participate in a Tea Party bus tour through Iowa, according to organizers of the tour.

The Iowa Tea Party, in conjunction with American Principles in Action and the Leadership Institute, will launch a three-week bus tour through the Hawkeye State, starting in Council Bluffs on June 13 and ending in Des Moines on July 2. The bus will travel to 20 cities in Iowa to train grassroots activists and offer candidates a platform to speak with Tea Party supporters.

“The purpose of the tour is to train grassroots activists in the state of Iowa to get them as prepared as they’re going on and best advocate for the candidate of their choice,” Ryan Rhodes, the tour's organizer, told ABC News.

The main focus of the tour will involve training on precinct organization, distributing a mock caucus video explaining the process, and educating people on the Tea Party principles and the gold standard.  Organizers hope to train 500 to 1,000 individuals over the course of three weeks.

Candidates have been invited to attend the training sessions to talk with Tea Party activists.

“We’d like to see these candidates have to answer the questions from the grassroots tea parties across the state,” Rhodes said.  “I think it’d be imperative that they come if they want to show that they want the Tea Party support.”

Rhodes said one candidate will participate at a time, with some riding on the bus for a period of time and others joining the tour along the way.  Rhodes said they are not releasing the exact dates candidates will be on the tour at this time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin's Clambake: Sign of Many More Gatherings to Come?

Randy Snyder/Getty Images(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- Is it the end or just the beginning? Sarah Palin made what might be the last major stop of her Northeast tour Thursday evening in Seabrook, N.H., where she attended a clambake at the summer home of one of her staffer's families.

She arrived to a crowd of the usual media folk and two protesters.

Both male college students, they held signs saying "Idiot Queen" and "Palin for President, Do It for the Lulz." (Lulz is another way to say LOLs, online lingo for laughter.)

She spoke with them as soon as she arrived, asking, "Aren't you proud to be an American?"

After they nodded, she said, "Right on, that's good to know, we have that in common."

The ex-Alaska governor answered questions from the press before and after the dinner.

Much of what she said at the clambake, she's said before -- she spoke about how her tour is meant to celebrate what's great about America, her mixed feelings about jumping into the 2012 presidential race, and her disapproval of President Obama's handling of the economy and the country's foreign entanglements.

The clambake itself drew about three dozen people who mingled in the backyard of the seaside cottage despite blustery conditions.

Piper, Palin's youngest daughter, palled around with other children; Palin shook hands and posed for pictures. They both donned sweatshirts brandished with "New Hampshire" and an American flag to brave the cold.

Before jumping in her SUV and reportedly heading to another home to tape an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Palin said she's looking forward to doing more clambake-like events where she gets to meet and greet potential voters.

But only after going back to Alaska to do laundry and load up the bus with more kids.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin: Romney Will Face Challenges

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Sarah Palin is adamant that her road trip to visit important American historical sites is not a campaign tour. But she is on her way to the early primary state of New Hampshire in a bus emblazoned with her name and during a stop at Bunker Hill in Boston Thursday, she took a political shot at Mitt Romney.

Palin said Romney, who would be a potential rival if she jumped into the race and announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination Thursday in New Hampshire, will face a "challenge" in getting Tea Party support.

She also said that she didn't intend to step on his toes by going to New Hampshire Thursday, saying his presence there "never was a consideration at all."

"In fact, if he would be offended by me stepping foot in a state he was in, I wouldn't do it." But she doesn't believe that's the case at all.

Palin's bus tour stopped in Boston along the famous Freedom Trail on Thursday. At Bunker Hill, Palin took the official tour from a park ranger and signed autographs.

Palin's exact schedule in New Hampshire remains a mystery. There are reports that she will attend a clambake in Seabrook on Thursday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


How is Sarah Palin Paying for Bus Tour?

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The former governor of Alaska got a little testy with ABC News Wednesday when asked how she was financing her "One Nation Tour" through the Northeast.

During a stopover at the Statue of Liberty, Sarah Palin responded that she was paying for the tour through her political action committee website, SarahPAC, and that the bus in which she and her family are riding is "our own personal motor home that we've had in Alaska."

Palin, who was Republican John McCain's running mate in the 2008 national election, became visibly annoyed when asked how much the tour has cost during it first four days.

She told ABC News, "Check  I don't know why in the world you would ask a question like that.  I'm just thinking about America and our foundations and our freedoms and our opportunities.  Why would you ask something..."

When told she often speaks about how much the federal government is spending, Palin responded, "What does our economy have to do with how much we're -- I'm not asking you to pay for a penny of this trip."

A check of revealed nothing about how much the trip is costing or how much Palin's supporters have donated so she and her family can travel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Confirms Tour Will Go National

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Palin's northeast tour took to the water Wednesday as she hit Liberty Island with her parents and youngest daughter, Piper. They were accompanied by park rangers and police escorts as they made their way to the Statue of Liberty.

It's a scene we'll likely be seeing for some time to come. Palin confirmed that she's going to Boston after New York and that after the northeast, she'll go back to Alaska before re-launching the tour -- called the "One Nation Tour" -- on the West Coast.

She told ABC News about her plans after she leaves the northeast:

"Go back to Alaska -- in fact today, Willow [the middle Palin daughter] already had to get back to work so she had to leave -- go back to Alaska, come back on the trail again, and take the tour west as the summer progresses."

Asked if she'll go all over the country, Palin said, "that is our plan, our tentative plan, anyway."

Has the tour made her want to run for president in 2012?

"Oh man," she said, "It makes me want to travel across the U.S. to see the great people who've contributed so wonderfully to this country."

Still, she maintained that she does not know if she'll jump into the pool of Republican contenders and doesn't see her trip as a campaign tour.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Talks Bus Tour, Says She Hasn't Moved to Arizona

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Many members of the media haven’t been able to get a question in to Sarah Palin during her “One Nation” tour, but Fox News host Greta Van Susteren managed to score more than 20 minutes with her.

Susteren climbed aboard Palin’s Constitution-decorated tour bus over Memorial Day weekend for a sit-down with the former Alaska governor that aired Tuesday.  Their interview covered a broad range of topics, from her tour to buying a house in Arizona.

When asked why she was going on a jaunt around the Northeast -- hitting key states like New Hampshire and Iowa -- if she doesn't know if she'll run for president in 2012, Palin offered this answer:

"It is about our charters of liberty and it’s reminding, especially the schoolchildren across America -- that’s why I have my dad on the bus too, as a school teacher -- I want the kids across America to realize what it is that built America, how important it is that we restore what is good and free and patriotic about America so we can prepare ourselves about the heady days ahead."

Palin said she has at least two good reasons to not divulge her tour’s itinerary in advance.

“We know where we’re going,” she said.  “There’s a couple of different reasons why we’re not going to broadcast it to the whole world.  One is security issues, but another is if the price of gas climbs much higher, right Todd [referring to her husband, Todd Palin, who’s traveling with her], we’re not going to be able to go too far.”

Palin then revealed that the gas tank of the charter bus is decorated with a “Drill, baby, drill” decal.

The former Alaska governor also confirmed the reports that she’s bought a house in Arizona but said she has not officially moved there.

“No, I haven’t moved from Alaska but Safari Investments has invested in property in Arizona,” she said, adding that “we are a part of” Safari Investments.  The reason for the purchase?  As Alaskans, Palin said she and the rest of her family “like to thaw out once in a while.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio