Obama, GOP Hopefuls Tour the Country, Keep Tabs on Each Other

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Obama Bus Tour (10 of 11)
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a point during a town hall-style meeting in Cannon Falls, Minnesota August 15, 2011. Obama is traveling on a bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

President Obama and Republicans vying for their party's presidential nomination are making the rounds this week, courting voters and working at securing favor for next year's election.

Tuesday was Obama's second day of a three-day listening tour through the rural Midwest.

He spoke to residents of Peosta, Iowa about a plan he had mentioned which would provide $350 million in funding for small businesses over the next five years.

"We could do even more if Congress is willing to get in the game," Obama said, Reuters reported.

Texas governor Rick Perry, who only recently jumped into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Tuesday.

He spoke against Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke increasing stimulus spending before the 2012 election.

"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don't know what you would do with him," Perry said, the Los Angeles Times reported. "We would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, or treasonous, in my opinion."

Iowa straw poll winner Michele Bachmann was also in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday and complained to a crowd about Obama and the U.S. downgrade.

"This is the first president in the history of the country who under his watch we've seen a downgrade of United States credit," she said.

Ron Paul, who finished second in the Iowa straw poll, referred to fellow GOP contenders Bachmann, Perry, and Romney as "smooth talking politicians" in a video and compared them to Obama and former House speaker Nancy Pelosi in that regard, the LA Times reported.

Paul will be in Concord, New Hampshire on Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a campaign office there, according to his presidential Web site.

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was in New Hampshire on Tuesday. He took to Twitter to deride what he has dubbed as the president's "Magical Misery Bus Tour."

"Day 2 of Obama bus tour, but day 938 of presidency," Romney Tweeted. "Publicity & spin in last 2 days can't make up for the 2.5 years of failure."

 

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