Obama begins bus tour in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) ? President Barack Obama has set out from St. Paul, Minn., on a three-day bus tour that will give him a chance to hear directly from a public frustrated with Washington even as Republican presidential hopefuls ramp up their campaigning.

Air Force One landed midmorning at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and Obama disembarked under sunny skies and greeted a small crowd at a rope line. He then boarded an unmarked black bus for a 40-minute drive south to Cannon Falls, Minn., for a town hall event.

Obama’s first bus trip as president will take him through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, allowing him to counter Republican attacks after Michele Bachmann’s weekend victory in the Iowa Straw Poll.