Buscapade Day 2: Obama touts record, lambasts Romney, calls for more action

July 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM
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PITTSBURGH, July 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama ended a two-day campaign bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania Friday, making little mention of the June unemployment rate.

Obama's final appearance was in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University, where he noted both the Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place in the Major League Baseball divisional standings.

"Let's also be clear that a very important situation has arisen: The White Sox and the Pirates are in first place. So we may be in the World Series together. We love each other and we can root for each other until we get to the World Series. Then it's every man for himself," Obama said amid laughter from supporters and shouts of "Go Pirates."

Following the appearance, Obama headed back to Washington aboard Air Force One.

Before hitting Pittsburgh, Obama stopped at Kretchmar's Bakery in Beaver, Pa., where he bought an apple pie to take back to the White House and a dozen cookies for the traveling press.

Obama delivered the same basic stump speech at stops that began in Toledo, Ohio, Thursday, touting his record, criticizing proposals by likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and calling on Congress to act on what he considers important legislation. He also declared healthcare reform "here to stay" in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week upholding the bill's individual mandate.

In an earlier campaign stop Friday in Poland, Ohio, Obama alluded to Friday's U.S. Labor Department report, saying the economy created a net 80,000 jobs in June, calling it "a step in the right direction." The unemployment rate was at 8.2 percent, unchanged from May.

"I want to get back to a time when middle-class families and those working to get into the middle class have some basic security. That's our goal," Obama told supporters at Dobbins Elementary School.

Obama got an early start to the day at Ann's Place diner in Akron where he breakfasted on hash browns, eggs, bacon, wheat toast, grits and coffee, and chatted up fellow diners before boarding the bus for the Summer Garden Food Manufacturing plant in Boardman, Ohio, which produces canned spaghetti sauce from mostly locally grown produce.

While workers were distracted, taking pictures with Obama, some boxes got out of alignment and started toppling.

Earlier at the diner, Obama joined three Goodyear employees at their table.

"This is a section they call the troublemakers," the president said as he approached a table of men wearing baseball caps. He then advised them: "Don't do anything wrong while these guys have the cameras on. They'll catch you."

The men were identified as Rick Nixon, who has worked at Goodyear in Akron for two decades and is a political coordinator of United Auto Workers Local 21, Jim DiFalco who has done two stints at Goodyear, the latest beginning in 1992, and whose father and grandmother worked for the company, and Keith Ross, who makes racing tires for NASCAR at Goodyear.

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