August 17, 2011

What They Are Saying …
About Obama’s ‘No Plan, Just Politics’ Debt-End Bus Tour
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Watch Coverage Of The Campaigner-In-Chief’s Debt-End Bus Tour Here NO ONE BOUGHT THE WHITE HOUSE’S CLAIM THAT THE BUS TOUR WASN’T PURELY POLITICAL
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: “You could fool me. I mean it feels like a campaign trip. It certainly walks like one, it quacks like one.” (MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co.,” 8/16/11) CBS News’ Mark Knoller: “The trip and events have all the characteristics of a campaign swing, but WH bills it as official and taxpayers pay all the costs.” (Mark Knoller, Twitter, 8/14/11) The Associated Press: “Though classified by the White House as an official presidential trip, the tour's first day had the distinct feel of a campaign excursion.” (Jim Kuhnhenn, “Obama Sets Tone For Governing, Campaigning At Beginning Of ThreeDay Midwest Tour,” The Associated Press, 8/16/11)

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AP: “Obama's rhetoric had a campaign pulse as well.” (Jim Kuhnhenn, “Obama Sets Tone For Governing, Campaigning At
Beginning Of Three-Day Midwest Tour,” The Associated Press, 8/16/11)

Minneapolis Star Tribune: “[A]n unusually partisan address for an official White House visit …” (Eric Roper,
“Obama Talks Jobs, Jabs At GOP,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/16/11)

USA Today: “The White House says President Obama's bus trip is a non-campaign event, but that hasn't stopped him from making his most extended comments yet on the Republican presidential field.” (David Jackson,
“Obama Goes After Republican Candidates On Taxes,” USA Today, 8/16/11)

USAT: “His toughest question may have come from a young girl who asked, ‘Why Cannon Falls?’ … Iowa and Minnesota are states critical to his re-election effort — an answer the president sidestepped.” (Richard Wolf, “Obama Defends Government,” USA Today, 8/15/11) USAT: “Still, the trip had stark political overtones.” (Richard Wolf, “Obama Defends Government,” USA Today, 8/15/11)

The New York Times: “While the White House billed all this as a presidential visit, the line between that and a campaign event is fine: loudspeakers blared standard Obama campaign anthems by U2 and Brooks & Dunn.” (Mark Landler, “Obama Tries To Reclaim Momentum With Midwest Bus Tour,” The New York Times, 8/15/11)

NYT: “On Monday, he became a road warrior, kicking off a three-day bus tour of the Midwest that provided him campaign-style opportunities to strike back at Republicans in a region vital to his reelection.” (Mark Landler, “Obama Tries To Reclaim Momentum With Midwest Bus Tour,” The New York Times, 8/15/11) NYT: “The president’s itinerary is giving him a homespun backdrop for his hard-edged message …”
(Mark Landler, “Obama Tries To Reclaim Momentum With Midwest Bus Tour,” The New York Times, 8/15/11)

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NYT: “For a trip conceived as an economic tour, the choice of stops was curious.” (Mark Landler, “Obama Tries
To Reclaim Momentum With Midwest Bus Tour,” The New York Times, 8/15/11)

Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet: “If President Obama flew Air Force One to Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois this week for town hall meetings on the economy, it may have been harder for Republicans to argue the trip was political and should have been paid for out of campaign funds. But Obama took a bus, and a bus is associated more with retail campaigning, thus opening the door for the GOP complaints.” (Lynn Sweet, “Jay Carney:
Bus Tour Not A Political Trip, ‘Doing What Presidents Do,’” Chicago Sun-Times, 8/15/11)

Slate’s John Dickerson: “The president is on a political bus tour which he says isn't a political where he will tell Republicans to stop behaving politically.” (John Dickerson, Twitter, 8/15/11) Politico: “White House press secretary Jay Carney bridled at the notion that the three-day bus tour, which traverses three battleground states Obama won in 2008, had anything to do with the fact that he’s struggling to maintain support in those states ahead of the 2012 contest.” (Julie Mason, “Rebranding Obama's Buscapade,” Politico, 8/15/11) Reuters: “The unmistakable campaign style of the trip will help Obama, a Democrat, test his organization and grassroots support as the Republican presidential field begins to take shape.” (Alister Bull, “Obama Embarks On
Campaign-Style Midwest Tour,” Reuters, 8/14/11)

Forbes: “And with the 2012 campaign already under way the trip will surely take on a campaign feel at times ...” (Erica Werner, “Obama Ditching DC To Mingle With Voters,” Forbes, 8/15/11) The Hill: “In nakedly political terms, Obama spoke repeatedly about challenging Congress in next year's elections if they refuse to compromise with him on the economy, and he took thinly veiled swipes at his Republican opponents.” (Sam Youngman, “Unleashed From Washington, Obama Declares War On House Republicans,” The Hill, 8/15/11)
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The Hill: “While the White House insisted in the lead up to the tour that the trip was about official business because Obama was talking to Americans, the president was clearly talking to voters. With his sleeves rolled up, tie missing and campaign cadence on full display, Obama appeared to be in total campaign mode.” (Sam Youngman, “Unleashed From Washington, Obama Declares War On House Republicans,” The Hill, 8/15/11)

CNN: “[A]t times, the event also took on a touch of the political rally Obama's political opponents said it was.” (CNN Wire Staff, “Obama Knocks Politics, Calls For Growth On Three-Day Midwest Bus Tour,” CNN, 8/16/11) MN Resident Tom Lietha: “Most of what he talked about was what I would call campaigning. … My impression was (it was) a little bit being able to hear from the constituency and mostly campaigning.’” (Mark
Fishenich, “Thing Film President Attended Obama Event,” The Free Press, 8/16/11)

OBAMA KEPT TO CAMPAIGN RHETORIC RATHER THAN “COME UP WITH A REAL JOBS PROGRAM OF HIS OWN”
Reuters: “The White House says the president is on listening tour to hear from Americans about the economy and to talk about how to boost jobs and hiring. There are no plans for a major policy speech to roll out new initiatives for growth.” (Alister Bull, “Obama Embarks On Campaign-Style Midwest,” Reuters, 8/14/11) McClatchy: “But White House officials say they don't expect Obama, who met Friday at the White House with business leaders, to roll out any new plans or deliver a major economic policy speech on the trip.” (Lesley
Clark, “Obama’s Bus Tour An Effort To Connect With Everyday Americans,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/14/11)

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “Town halls are fine but the President needs to do, I think, more. He’s going to have to take on Republicans, come up with a real jobs program of his own.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 8/15/11)

Matthews: “It’s one thing for Sen. Clinton … to go on a listening tour. Here’s the guy who has been President of the United States for three years. To go listen to people? … It doesn’t seem to be the right move right now. It seems like action would be more appropriate.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 8/15/11) Matthews: “It Baffles Me.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 8/15/11)

Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers: “[I] t would be better if he had a big proposal that he was going out to sell.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 8/15/11) Dubuque Telegraph Herald: "We don't need your attention as much as we need your leadership. We need a president who won't tell the people what they want to hear but a leader who tells us what we need to hear."
(Editorial, “Welcome, Mr. President,” Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 8/16/11)

The Washington Post: “Obama, who arrived in a special black armored bus, didn’t announce any new ideas, but he repeated calls for pairing measures to tame the deficit with efforts to boost the economy.” (Zachary A.
Goldfarb, “Obama Kicks Off Midwest Bus Tour With Harsh Words On The Economy,” The Washington Post, 8/16/11)

Cannon Falls, MN Resident John Newton: “For me, he came into a bad situation and maybe just made it worse … I would like to see him take more of a leadership role.” (Nicole Norfleet, “Cannon Falls Residents Grab Tickets To See
Obama,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/15/11)

Des Moines Register: “For a Midwestern bus tour billed as a rolling conversation about the rural economy, President Barack Obama didn’t spend much time in Decorah today talking about agriculture issues.” (Jason
Noble, “Obama In Iowa: Not Much Ag Talk In Decorah, But He Did Get A Packet Of Seeds For Michelle,” Des Moines Register, 8/15/11)

NO WONDER HE NOW NEEDS TO CAMPAIGN IN THREE STATES HE WON IN 2008

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Forbes: “The bus tour itinerary takes Obama through three states he won in 2008 but where he now needs to shore up his standing.” (Erica Werner, “Obama Ditching DC To Mingle With Voters,” Forbes, 8/15/11) USAT: “With Welcomes Like These, Obama Could Stay Home” (Richard Wolf, USA Today, 8/16/11)

USAT: “President Obama's bus tour comes after the lowest rated week of his presidency, according to a Gallup Poll.” (David Jackson, “Obama Sees Lowest Rated Week Of Term,” USA Today, 8/16/11) USAT: “As has become customary, Obama will be in states considered competitive in 2012 or already in his corner. He won Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois in 2008, though the first two could swing back next year.”(Richard Wolf, “Obama Begins Midwest Bust Trip, Hoping For Economic Jump-Start,” USA Today, 8/15/11) USAT: “Continuing his Midwest bus tour, President Obama found himself on the defensive Monday night in Iowa, as some self-proclaimed supporters accused him of compromising too much with Republicans.” (David Jackson, “Obama On The Defensive In Iowa,” USA Today 8/15/11)

The Gazette: “Although the focus of his tour is rural America, Obama spent much of the 90-minute town meeting defending decisions he’s made since becoming president.” (James Lynch, “President Obama Stops In Decorah During Bus
Tour,” The Gazette 8/15/11)

MST: “Faced with the worst approval ratings of his presidency, Obama chose a pristine riverside setting in this small, southern Minnesota town to rally supporters around his economic policies.” (Eric Roper, “Obama Talks Jobs,
Jabs At GOP,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/16/11)

WaPo’s The Fix: “If Iowa is indeed closely contested, it could spell broader trouble for Obama.” (Chris Cillizza &
Aaron Blake, “Is Iowa A Swing State?”The Washington Post’s The Fix, 8/16/11)

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