President Obama Hits the Road

Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Obama is making stops in Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa, bus riding from state to state over the next few days to talk with local people about the economy. The White House is framing it as a chance to speak with constituents directly and “restore confidence” in the future. Of course, the RNC thinks this is wrong.

“Amid 9.1% unemployment and the fallout of the nation’s first credit downgrade, a taxpayer-funded PR junket is the last thing Americans need out of this president,” party chairman Reince Priebus said. Mitt Romney goes clever and calls it the “Magical Misery” bus tour. You can watch his video of miserable Minnesotans talking after the jump.

The Wall Street Journal points out that both Iowa and Minnesota have unemployment rates below that national average, but Press Secretary Jay Carney says Obama wants to see what’s working. Presidential business people! I’ll bet the President is so busy, he forgot there even was an election next year.

So far, the President has talked about his ideas for jump starting the economy — renewed payroll tax cuts and spending for public works, for instance — while reminding listeners that it’s certain members of Congress (ahem) that keep putting a monkey wrench in the works.

Still, the President’s approval rating has hit a low, so he needs to impress upon voters that he’s actively involved and somehow on the path towards more positive economic news.

He’s also using the tour as an opportunity to talk up Warren Buffet’s calls for higher taxes on the rich. Nice. Buffet’s column in today’s New York Times is available here.