President Barack Obama heads out Thursday on the first bus tour of his 2012 campaign. He'll spend Thursday in Ohio and Friday in Pennsylvania.
The title of the tour? "Betting on America." The topic? The economy and jobs. The goal? Shoring up support of blue-collar men.
Obama won both states in 2008, and they are key targets in his run against Mitt Romney in this election. Ohio has 18 electoral votes, Pennsylvania 20. A Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released last week showed Obama leading Romney 47 percent to 38 percent in Ohio, and 45 percent to 39 percent in Pennsylvania. (Yahoo News White House Correspondent Olivier Knox is covering the tour.)
There could be a bus traffic jam in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty also are on a two-day bus tour through the two battleground states. They are there on behalf of Romney. Both have been mentioned as possible Romney running mates.
Romney, meanwhile, is on his annual family vacation in Wolfeboro, N.H., until Sunday when he heads to New York for fundraising events. He is finding time for politics, however. He said in an interview Wednesday that the health care law's individual mandate requiring most Americans to buy health insurance is "a tax." That differed from what senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said a few days ago. He called it "a penalty."
And then there is this: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio continues his book tour in Georgia and South Carolina, signing copies of his autobiography "An American Son: A Memoir." Rubio also has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney.
Sources: Yahoo! News, Reuters, ABC News, CBS News, Associated Press