Hitting The Pavement, Obama Puts On The Pounds?

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) - President Barack Obama faces a daily wave of criticism on a number of issues. The latest attack?

"People have been commenting I need to gain some weight," Obama quipped Friday at a campaign stop in Poland, Ohio.

After a woman from the audience cheered, "Yeah!" the president paused.

"Who said that?" he asked, laughing with surprise. "Yeah?"

"Well, you'll be happy to know that I've been eating," he continued. "And in between the eating, we've been talking a little about the politics."

In fact, Obama assured the crowd he's been eating "a lot" on his two-day bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania. And based on pool reports from reporters traveling with the president, anyone would have a hard time disagreeing with that statement.

Friday afternoon, for example, Obama purchased an apple pie and a dozen chocolate chip cookies at Kretchmar's Bakery in Beaver, Pennsylvania.

That followed a visit earlier in the day to the Summer Garden Food Manufacturing in Boardman, Ohio. While taking a tour of the factory floor, Obama joked that he wanted some samples of spaghetti sauce to take on his trip to Camp David.

"I smell a little oregano around here or something," Obama said, while checking out the jars of sauce on the assembly line.

Obama started the day Friday morning with a hearty meal of two eggs over medium, bacon and wheat toast at a diner called Ann's Place in Akron.

Thursday night, the president stopped through Amherst, Ohio to have a beer at Ziggy's Pub and Restaurant with former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Meanwhile, earlier in the day, he paid cash for some corn, peaches, cherries and strawberries at a fruit and vegetable stand in Port Clinton–a somewhat healthier option after his burger at Kozy Corner in Oak Harbor during lunch.

While visiting local restaurants is a key component of political bus tours, Obama's jokes on Friday about his weight raise the question of whether the president really is trying to put on some pounds.

Rounding out his speech in Poland, Obama warned the crowd that Republicans would launch a tsunami of attack ads against him in the coming months.

Responding to the ensuing boos from the audience, Obama assured the crowd he could handle it.

"It's alright, because I'm tough," Obama said. "I'm skinny, but I'm tough."

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