News / USA

Obama Pushes Economic Policy on Midwest Bus Tour

President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, August 15, 2011
President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, August 15, 2011
Kent Klein

With the U.S. economic recovery and President Barack Obama’s approval ratings both lagging, the president is discussing the economy with people in rural areas of the Midwest.  Mr. Obama was in Iowa on Tuesday, promoting his message in the state for a second straight day.

Concerns about the nation’s struggling economy have led to the lowest approval rating of Mr. Obama’s presidency - 39 percent in the latest Gallup poll.

As part of a three-day Midwestern bus tour, the president has been visiting small towns in Iowa to reassure people that times will improve. “We will get through this moment of challenge," he said. "The only question is if, as a nation, we are going to do what it takes to grow this economy and put people back to work right now.  And can we get our politics to match up with the decency of our people?”

In the small town of Peosta, Mr. Obama said political battles in Washington are holding back the economic recovery. “The only thing that is preventing us from passing the bills I just mentioned is the refusal of a faction in Congress to put country ahead of party, and that has to stop.  Our economy cannot afford it," he said.

The president spoke at a White House-sponsored rural economic forum.  He met with farmers, bankers, small business owners, government officials and others about what can be done to strengthen the economy in America’s small towns.

White House officials insist the bus tour is not a campaign trip, but a way for the president to listen to Americans’ concerns about the economy.

But opposition Republican presidential candidates have been campaigning in Iowa, in hopes of winning the state’s caucuses early next year -  an important test in the bid for their party’s nomination.

One of those candidates, Texas Governor Rick Perry, stirred controversy Tuesday when he called Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke “almost traitorous” for his monetary policies.  Perry also said Bernanke would receive “ugly” treatment if he visited Texas.

The comments drew sharp criticism from Democrats and Republicans.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said a candidate for president needs to think about what he is saying because his words have “greater impact.”

Bernanke was appointed by Mr. Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, and a former Bush White House spokesman called Perry’s remarks inappropriate and unpresidential.

Many Republicans are dismissing the president’s Midwest trip as a political move when stronger efforts are needed to improve the economy.

Mr. Obama’s tour concludes Wednesday in his home state of Illinois.  He then returns to Washington, ahead of a 10-day vacation to Martha's Vineyard in the northeastern state of Massachusetts.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid