Obama opens heartland tour with town hall

CANNON FALLS, Minn. (AP) ? President Barack Obama says one of the urgent questions facing the country is whether politicians can break out of a pattern of putting the country’s need ahead of their own.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Minnesota, Obama said the public shouldn’t have patience with the kind of behavior Washington has exhibited in recent months, most notably during the contentious negotiations over raising the debt ceiling.

Obama says boosting the economy should be Washington’s top priority. The president spoke before taking questions in Cannon Falls, Minn., the first event on his three-day bus tour of the Midwest.