Obama Fences, Parries At Start Of Midwestern Tour

DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - President Barack Obama plans to spend the day promoting his rural economic policies, on Day 2 of his Midwestern bus tour.

He'll preside over a White House Rural Economic Forum at a community college in Iowa.
Yesterday, at an event in Minnesota, he shot back at Republican presidential candidates who've been criticizing him, saying their refusal to support tax increases defies common sense.

Obama is using the reach of his office to build public pressure on Republicans to move his way on economic and fiscal policies, to counterpunch against the GOP presidential field, and to argue for his presidency with independent voters and Democrats alike.