Republicans slam Obama bus tour

US President Barack Obama (C) walks to his bus as he arrives in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minnesota, August 15, 2011, where he is to begin his three-day bus tour in the Midwest centering on ways to grow the economy.
US President Barack Obama (C) walks to his bus for his three-day tour.

Republicans continued their attack on President Obama's Midwest bus tour Wednesday, accusing the nation's leader of using taxpayer money to fund a campaign trip.

On a morning conference call, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady accused Obama of focusing on his reelection at a time when the economy is in threat of veering into a double dip recession.

"He should spend more time in the White House doing his job rather than riding around on his Canadian bus," said Priebus. The New York Post has reported that the president's new armored bus was made in Canada.

As Obama passes through Illinois today, Priebus pointed to the state's unemployment numbers. He said that 125,000 jobs have been lost under the current administration - 91,000 of those since enactment of the economic stimulus. Obama signed the legislation into law in February, 2009. In June, Illinois' unemployment rate matched that of the nation: 9.2 percent.

Brady called the statistics "disheartening" and attacked the president and local Democratic leadership for not focusing enough on the state's economic struggles. "If you want to come to a state that's completely screwed up, by not only national Democrats, but also local Democrats, then I invite you to come to Illinois," he said.

The state's Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, was traveling with the president. "Our feelings are hurt terribly," quipped a spokesman when asked about the Republicans' critique. He promised a more substantive response later.

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