On the Road Again

Obama takes a new jobs message through key swing states.

Posted: 10/17/2011 01:39 PM EDT
Barack Obama

Although Senate Republicans successfully blocked movement on the American Jobs Act last week, President Obama will continue to pitch the $447 billion package to the American public. But his message has undergone a slight alteration. When the president takes a three-day road trip through the politically important North Carolina and Virginia this week, the crowds won’t hear “Pass this bill,” but “Pass these bills.”

"The president will challenge Congress to get to work this week passing every element of the American Jobs Act piece by piece," deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on a conference call Sunday afternoon, the Associated Press reports.

The first part of the trip, which kicks off in North Carolina on Monday, will highlight the portion of the bill that seeks to save or create jobs for teachers, fire fighters and police officers. Jobs are the number one issue in North Carolina’s Triad area, and many people are forced to commute to other parts of the state to work. The unemployment rate in the state is at 10.2 percent, while the rate in Virginia is under the national average at 6.3 percent. A recent Quinnipiac University poll put the president’s approval rating in Virginia and North Carolina at 45 percent and 42 percent, respectively.

In an appearance on CBS’s This Week With Christiane Amanpour, Obama’s senior advisor David Axelrod acknowledged that the legislation had experienced a “setback,” but that, “We’re going to keep at it. It didn’t die.”

“Now we’re going to take it apart and we’re going to go piece by piece. The American people support every single plank of that bill and we’re going to vote on every single one,” Axelrod said. "I think so many Americans are just sitting there saying, 'Act,' to Congress. 'Do something. Stop playing games.'"

(Photo: Bill Pugliano/GettyImages)

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