Obama to do bus trip to ‘connect’ with ordinary Americans

August 13th, 2011 - 10:42 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Aug 13 (IANS) US President Barack Obama embarks on a three-day bus trip Monday to “connect with ordinary Americans” as he talks job creation at small towns across the Midwest.

While Republicans have accused Obama of mixing policy with politics by barnstorming in the battleground region ahead of the 2012 elections, White House say it was a chance for the president to hit the reset button and connect with ordinary Americans after the political logjam over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

“Democrats, independents and Republicans expect to see their president of the United States outside of Washington, DC, out from behind the podium, spending time talking to the American people in their communities,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday.

Without a direction mention of Republicans, Obama this week blamed the Congress for the bitterness that led to an eleventh-hour debt limit agreement, and Earnest said the president was expecting to hear more anger on the road.

“The president does anticipate that he’ll detect a little frustration about the dysfunction in Congress, and the strident position of some in Congress to put their partisan affiliation ahead of the country,” he said.

Obama will be travelling to Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, three states he won in 2008 but that saw Republican gains last year. He needs to win them again states next year to return to the White House for a second term.

“I anticipate that there will be some people who are supporters of the president, who voted for him last time, who will have some questions for him about the compromises that he was willing to make,” Earnest said.

“But that is something that the president believes is an important part of leadership … moving off our maximalist positions and demonstrating a willingness to compromise.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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