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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

Alaskans experiencing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, and swift shoreline erosion More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs