Aug. 16 - As President Obama explains economic policies, Republican focus on him, criticize the Federal Reserve and get all shook up over Elvis. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Midway through a Midwest bus tour, U.S. President Barack Obama is promoting job creating measures as he seeks to calm voter anger over the economy. In Iowa, Obama announced steps to to fight unemployment. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama, saying: (English) "We are ramping up our efforts to get capital to small businesses in rural areas. We're doubling the commitment we've already made through key small business lending programs. We're going to make it easier for people in rural areas looking for work to find out about companies that are hiring," In Peosta Iowa he made some familiar campaign stops, greeting voters as he heads into a local diner. Not everyone had out their welcome signs for the President, in the state that launched his political campaign in 2008. As Obama toured the rural Midwest discussing the economy, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was in New Hampshire where he took aim at Obama's record. SOUNDBITE: Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, saying: (English) "Two days of a bus tour are not going to make up for two and a half years of failure to get the American people back to work. I know that he looks at this as a kind of celebratory bus tour. But there's no question in anyone's mind that he would not be doing that bus tour if his first two and a half years had been successful. This for him is an effort to try and convince the American people he ought to be re-elected. His record speaks a heck of a lot louder than these bus tires do." Newly declared Republican candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry was in Iowa on Monday, where he drew some fire from the White House over comments about the Federal Reserve. SOUNDBITE: Texas Governor Rick Perry, saying: (English) "I'll take a pass on the Federal Reserve right at the moment, to be real honest with you. I know there's a lot of talk and what have you about them. If this guy prints more money, between now and the election, I don't know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. I mean printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, er, treasonous in my opinion. Because all it's going to be doing, all it's going to be doing. We've already tried this. All it's going to be doing is devaluing the dollar in your pocket." While many Republicans are focused curbing spending it was Elvis that came under the spotlight after Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann mistakenly wished "The King" a "Happy Birthday." August 16th actually marks the 34th anniversary of Presley's death. SOUNDBITE: Representative Michele Bachmann, saying: (English) "Before we get started, let's all say 'Happy Birthday' to Elvis Presley today,"We played you a little bit of Promise Land when we pulled up. You can't do better than Elvis Presley and we thought we would celebrate his birthday as we get started celebrating taking our country back to work." The U.S. presidential election will be held in November 2012. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters