Monday, Aug. 15th Literally Barnstorming – Jake Tapper snaps this shot of the President in Iowa:
Rascal – Gawker has video of former President Bill Clinton calling Rick Perry a "good lookin' rascal" and holding forth on political disocurse. Obama's Road Rules – President Obama started his bus tour today to a great deal of criticism from Republicans, who said it should not be undertaken at taxpayers' expense. Jon Huntsman suggested that rock bands, not presidents, should be on tour in the summer. Check out what the million dollar bus looks like in action: And the RNC released this web ad: Read more about the Obama bus tour.
Food Police – At the Iowa State Fair, Texas Gov. Perry admonished a young girl eating a funnel cake to get some exercise later, before chowing down on a pork chop of his own. (via @michaelpfalcone) Some Republicans, Sarah Palin in particular, have admonished the president and first lady for being too interested in what Americans are eating.
Obama on Obamacare – "I have no problem with people saying Obama Cares. I do care." – to supporters in Minnesota. Defending Government – President Obama quickly cited Warren Buffet's New York Times Op-Ed about how the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Later in his event, Obama exhorts people not to buy into the idea that government is bad. Government is police and firefighters, he says. Government looks out for people and made possible travel to the moon. We'll get the full quote, but it was an interesting moment and speaks to the philosophical divide between the parties. Ooh That Smell – ABC's Mary Bruce and Ann Compton enjoyed what Jake Tapper calls "the best-smelling press file ever" at Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa. (photo by @JakeTapper) ABC Team Coverage – Perry Takes on Obama, Romney – ABC's Michael Falcone (@michaelpfalcone) gets a shot of ABC's Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) shooting video of Rick Perry at the Iowa State Fair. See that below. Read their write-up of Perry's trip to the Des Moines Register Soapbox. On Mitt Romney, Perry said, "send him my love." And to President Obama, who started his own three-state listening tour today, Perry said: "Mr. President, you need to free up the employers of this country to create jobs." Perry called on Obama to "free up this country" from "stifling regulation."
4 Year-Olds for Perry – Duke Tack from Wellsburg, Iowa sports a cowboy hat and boots to show his support for Rick Perry. (via @arlettesaenz)
Romney will hike for votes – Mitt Romney will first hike to the top of and then have a press conference on Mt. Washington. Hopefully out-of-shape journalists do not collapse enroute. (via @emilyabc) UPDATE: Romney’s hike has been cancelled after the road the campaign would have used to descend the mountain was washed out by the rain. "Howdy!" – Rick Perry Hits the State Fair – While most candidates spent last week in Iowa before the Republican straw poll there, Texas Gov. Rick Perry only just joined the race. He's at the state fair this morning "shaking and howdying" his way around. Earlier, he met with the state Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. ABC's Michael Falcone reports that just like Mitt Romney encountered hecklers at the Iowa State Fair soap box, Rick Perry has had to endure some shouting at the Des Moines Register Saopbox. "That may not be an Aggie over there," he joked. Official Road Trip – President Obama's tour of the Midwest is underway. Republicans are bellowing that he's on a bus tour in swing states, but billing it as official business (and charging the taxpayers). Mitt Romney called it a "Magical Misery Tour." Romney-Brown 2012? Mitt Romney laughed off a question about whether he'd pick Scott Brown as a running mate, suggesting its too far away and that might be too much Massachusetts on one ticket. (via @emilyabc). More here. Update – A Romney-Brown ticket would actually never even be possible: Two politicians from the same state are not permitted on the same ballot. In 2000, Dick Cheney actually switched his residency status from Texas to Wyoming because of the rule. Palin and Beck to Defend the Republic. The two will appear together in Missouri Oct. 7. (via @sheilaym) — Compiled by Z. Byron Wolf and Sarah Parnass