Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

Americas

Obama pledges job growth on Midwest bus tour

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-16

On the first day of a three-day tour of the US Midwest Monday, President Barack Obama said he will be putting forward a new economic plan to promote jobs growth, manage America’s spiralling debt, and boost the economy.

REUTERS - President Barack Obama blasted Republicans for playing politics with the economy on Monday as he took to the road on a bus tour of the U.S. Midwest to focus on job growth and distance himself from anger toward Washington that could dent his 2012 re-election hopes.

The president’s three-day trip, on a black bus with darkened windows and red and blue flashing lights, started in Minnesota, wound through backroads, rolling hills and farm communities to Iowa, and will end in Illinois.

Obama won all three states in the 2008 presidential election, although Iowa has recently played host to Republicans vying to battle him for the White House next year who have been criticizing his record as they crisscrossed the state.

The White House says Obama is on a listening tour to hear from Americans about the economy and talk about how to boost jobs and hiring. With U.S. unemployment mired at just above 9 percent, jobs are expected to be the central issue for voters in next year’s presidential and congressional elections.

Obama said he would put forward a plan for economic growth when Congress returns from summer recess and challenged lawmakers to take action.

“I’ll be putting forward when they come back in September a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control our deficit. And my attitude is — get it done.”

The tour also exposes the Democratic president to voters who, polls suggest, are furious about political gridlock in Washington as he begins serious campaigning for the November 2012 election.

Obama touted his job-growth agenda, which includes extending a payroll tax cut, finalizing free-trade pacts and promoting infrastructure projects to create construction jobs.

But Obama’s hands are tied by a divided Congress, where Republicans control the House of Representatives and oppose any significant spending measures to stimulate growth.

Obama cited a column by Warren Buffett, in which the billionaire investor said the rich had been “coddled” by Congress, to argue for tax increases on the wealthy as well as spending uts to close the deficit gap.

Job creation at forefront

He cited a debate last week among Republicans vying for the party’s presidential nomination in which all eight said they would not consider allowing even a $1 increase in government revenues — through taxes or fees — for every $10 in cuts.

“That’s just not common sense, » Obama said earlier in Minnesota.

Republicans slammed the trip as a taxpayer-funded "debt end" bus tour and hammered Obama over high unemployment, record national debt and the flagging economy.

Even some of Obama’s fellow Democrats have expressed frustration that the president has not promoted plans to boost jobs growth more aggressively.

Obama was distracted for much of the summer by a divisive debate over the national debt and deficits that triggered a downgrade in the U.S. credit rating and undermined the public’s faith in Washington.

“We just went through this debacle with the debt ceiling — an entirely self-inflicted wound,” Obama said. Because of politics, “some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than America win, we ended up creating more uncertainty and more damage to an economy that was already weak.”

A Gallup tracking poll completed on Saturday showed Obama with a 39 percent approval rating — the lowest of his presidency — but recent polls have shown far lower approval ratings for Congress.

Obama holds a rural economic forum in Peosta, Iowa, on Tuesday and town hall meetings in Atkinson and Alpha, Illinois, on Wednesday before returning to Washington.

The unmistakable campaign style of the trip will help the Democratic president test his organization and grassroots support as the field of Republican presidential candidates takes clearer shape.

 

Date created : 2011-08-16

  • USA

    Obama sets off on Midwest bus tour to rally support

    Read more

  • UNITED STATES

    Court rules US healthcare plan unconstitutional

    Read more

  • USA

    US markets plunge despite Obama's reassurances

    Read more

COMMENT(S)