The Obama battle bus has been ploughing through America’s rural midwest. It is a crucial battleground for the Democrat president with an eye on winning a second term in office next year.
US unemployment is stuck at 9 per cent despite White House initiatives to boost jobs.
Obama promised a programme to inject capital into small rural enterprises, and announced renewed job creation efforts.
He tried to deflect anger over the economy onto his Republican opponents but they too were making their voices heard.
The man seen as the front-runner to challenge Obama for the White House Mitt Romney said: ‘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.’
Republican hopeful Michele Bachmann attracted derision for celebrating Elvis Presley’s birthday on the anniversary of his death.
She told a crowd in South Carolina: ‘We played you a little bit of Promised 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.’
Polls suggest the electorate are angry at the stalemate in Congress, that prompted a ratings agency to downgrade the United States’ coveted triple-A credit rating.