Obama sets sights on rural America to talk jobs

By KEN THOMAS | August 13, 2011 | 9:59 AM EDT

In this photo taken Aug. 11, 2011, President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at Johnson Controls Inc., in Holland, Mich. Positioning himself on the side of the public and against a Congress with abysmal approval ratings after the bitter debt limit fight, Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, "I don't think it's too much for you to expect that the people you send to this town start delivering." "Members of Congress are at home in their districts right now. And if you agree with me - whether you're a Democrat or Republican - or not much of a fan of either - let them know," he said. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is headed to the Midwest after a summer of discontent over a debt showdown with Republicans and the downgrade in the nation's credit rating.

Obama's bus tour begins Monday. It's his first as president and will take him to prairie communities in Minnesota and through Iowa and Illinois. There are stops in the farmland and rural towns that launched his first White House bid.

Obama won a clean sweep in 2008 of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. But Obama's standing in these states, like elsewhere, has grown precarious as the economy has slumped.