Obama opening bus tour of Ohio, Pennsylvania

By Ken Thomas

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, July 5 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

President Barack Obama visits with service members while hosting an Independence Day celebration Wednesday, July 4, 2012, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

Haraz N. Ghanbari, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama departs on a two-day bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania on Thursday, defending his economic policies and his decision to rescue U.S. automakers while raising questions about Republican Mitt Romney's business record.

Obama's 250-mile "Betting on America" bus tour is taking him through several northern Ohio communities where he received strong support in 2008. The tour also will take him into western Pennsylvania, with a stop in Pittsburgh.

Obama has released new advertising questioning Romney's commitment to keeping jobs in America while pointing to his decision to rescue U.S. automakers, a major employer in Ohio.

Republicans are dispatching Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (JIN'-dul) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to some of the same towns along Obama's tour to offer a rebuttal.

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