POSTED: Monday, August 15, 2011 - 6:14pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 15, 2011 - 6:47pm
NBC NEWS — The fight over jobs and the deficit seems to be the cornerstone of the 2012 Presidential Election.
Many of the main characters in the race took jabs at President Obama, and he’s fighting back.
He came to the Midwest on Air Force One, but the president took a bus; he showed up in Cannon Falls, Minnesota without a tie and back in campaign mode.
His beef is with Republicans, who he blamed for our near-default and S&P downgrade. The debt ceiling fight drove the president's approval to an all-time low, 39%, in yesterday's Gallup tracking poll. He was at 51% approval on June 1.
Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann, the three leading Republican presidential candidates, are encouraged by the sudden Obama slide.
Romney, referencing Obama’s declining approval rating, stated, "That is not because he's not campaigning. It's because he's not leading. The American people need a president who will lead this economy back to vitality."
Romney campaigned in New Hampshire, his strongest early primary state, while Perry was in Iowa. He skipped the weekend straw poll, but Perry has appeal here as a Texas governor who's cutting regulation and adding jobs.
Michele Bachmann is basking in her win of the straw poll, and will lead the fight on Capitol Hill this fall against the president's plan to cut the deficit deeper by hiking taxes on the rich.