As President Barack Obama traveled to the first of two “town hall” stops in western Illinois today, top national and state Republicans criticized his campaign-style visit and criticized his use of a taxpayer-funded Canadian-manufactured bus as part of a jobs tour.
But, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, no mention was made by Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus or Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady that a re-election seeking President George W. Bush used a bus from the same manufacturer, Quebec-based Prevost, for a spring 2004 “Yes, America Can” campaign tour through the Midwest.
Obama ends a three-day Midwest bus tour today, traveling aboard one of two $1.1 million Prevost buses purchased by the Secret Service. Previously, the Secret Service said, it leased buses and fitted them with security and communications gear, then stripped them of the equipment afterward. Bush’s 2004 opponent, Democratic Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., also campaigned in a bus from the same firm.
“We think this is an outrage that taxpayers of this country would have to foot the bill so the campaigner in chief can run around in his Canadian bus and act as if he’s interested in creating jobs in our country that needed them, when he’s been ignoring the issue while he’s been in the White House,” Priebus said in a conference call to reporters.
“I think he should spend a little bit more time in the White House and doing his job as opposed to running around in Canadian buses and planning his next vacation in Martha’s Vineyard,” he said.
Obama is holding a town hall meeting at Wyffels Hybrids Production Facility in Atkinson and then travels to Alpha for a town meeting at Country Corner Farm before departing via Air Force One from Peoria to Washington.