Obama Unveils Business Partnership to Boost Military Hiring

October 19, 2011

Wrapping up his three-day bus tour on an intimate note, President Obama dropped in at a suburban firehouse here on Wednesday and urged firefighters and rescue workers to pressure Republicans to support his jobs bill. 

The Senate will vote in the coming weeks on a $35 billion chunk of the bill designed to retain teachers and emergency workers. And for all the personal encounters and human moments that animate these bus tours, the president made it clear he wanted something from this audience.

"It's wonderful to have a chance to see everyone and shake hands and take pictures," Mr. Obama said, standing in front of a yellow-and-white pumper truck, "but the main reason I'm here is that I want you to send a message to Congress that this is important."

The president pounded that message everywhere he went in Virginia and North Carolina, two important states that he won in 2008 and faces a struggle to hold on to in 2012. But as his black bus stopped at a military base and the firehouse in this historically Republican country, Mr. Obama seemed to soften his partisan tone just a shade. 

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