August 15th, 2011
09:23 AM ET
President Obama started his day off this morning by boarding Marine One to go to Andrews Air Force Base to fly to Minnesota to kick off his three-day, three-states bus tour to hold town halls on the economy in five different towns. Today he'll hit the towns of Cannon Falls, Minnesota and Decorah, Iowa with events in both towns where the White House says the will "discuss ways to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and accelerate hiring in communities and towns across the nation and hear directly from Americans, including small business owners, local families, private sector leaders, rural organizations, and government officials."
Republicans have criticized the trip as being a tax-payer funded campaign tour but the White House calls these stops "official visits" that are focusing on the economy. On Friday, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, "There's obviously a very robust debate about the economic policies in this country that's ongoing in Iowa. That's something that the Iowa people are paying very close attention to. But it's also a debate that's happening in Minnesota. It's also a debate that's happening in Illinois. And he's going to go to all three states to talk about it."
For the full schedule, click below.
9:00AM THE PRESIDENT departs the South Lawn en route Joint Base Andrews South Lawn (Open Press)
9:15AM THE PRESIDENT departs Joint Base Andrews en route St. Paul, Minnesota (Out-of-Town Travel Pool Coverage)
11:35AM THE PRESIDENT arrives in St. Paul, Minnesota (Open Press)
12:45PM THE PRESIDENT holds a town hall meeting in Cannon Falls, Minnesota (Open Press)
6:15PM THE PRESIDENT holds a town hall meeting in Decorah, Iowa (Open Press)
Press Secretary Jay Carney will gaggle aboard Air Force One