Obama embarks on three-day bus tour to sell jobs bill

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Obama's poll numbers are down in both Virginia and North Carolina, languishing in the mid- to low-forties in recent polls. The numbers mirror his approval ratings nationally. Obama's campaign is pressing to hold both Southern states, even choosing to hold next year's Democratic convention in Charlotte.

(Photo: Associated Press)

The president's bus tour fit into that effort, giving Obama a chance to engage in some of the retail politics that is a staple of presidential campaigns.

Obama's sleek, $1.1 million bus rolled through North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains for more than four hours, an unusually long stretch that included unannounced stops.

At Countryside Barbeque in Marion, he shook hands and took photos, and he also had a chance of to talk to potential voters one-on-one about the elements in his jobs bill.

The tour took him through a blaze of bright red and orange fall colors. He later stopped at the Mast General Store in Boone, near the campus of Appalachian State University.

Picking out candy corn, peppermint patties and other treats, Obama said even his health-conscious wife wouldn't mind, because Halloween is coming.

The president was to speak Monday at high school in Millers Creek and make another official stop in North Carolina on Tuesday - a speech at a community college in the town of Jamestown – before heading to Virginia.

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