President Obama's bus tour through the midwestern U.S. has the look and feel of a campaign trip. But the White House says it's not political -- just official business.
The president is trying to go on the offensive, talking about creating jobs. However, when it comes to the economy, the Republican field of would-be challengers has kept him on the defensive.
With his poll numbers sinking and Americans clearly worried about the economy, Obama is promising to present a new plan to Congress next month.
"A very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs," he said Monday.
On Tuesday, the president will announce a smaller plan targeted at creating jobs in rural areas.
Click play to watch an updated report with CBN News Senior Editor John Waage.
It's a part of a three-day economy-themed bus tour through the Midwest.
The White House says the tour is all about helping the American people find jobs, not protecting the president's.
"I know it's not election season yet," Obama said.
But throw in a red barn and bales of hay and it sure feels like the campaign trail.
He's taking jabs at the GOP field whenever possible, already blasting the candidates for refusing to support any deficit deal that had tax increases.
"None of them would take it. Think about that. I mean that's just not common sense," Obama said.
For Republicans, common sense is taking the president to task for a struggling economy.
"Understanding how the economy worked in the real economy is finally essential in the White House," said Mitt Romney.
"Since he's been president, this country has lost 2.5 million jobs. Unemployment has gone up to 9.1%. So I think it's fair for Iowans on Tuesday to ask him, 'Where are the jobs that you promised, Mr. President?," said Rick Perry.
The president is traveling through Iowa Tuesday with more stops in the State on Wednesday. Then he takes his family on vacation to Martha's Vineyard Thursday.