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Obama bus tour rolls through NY, Pennsylvania

Published: Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 11:08 a.m. CDT
(Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with soccer teams practicing at Tully Junior-Senior High School in Tully, N.Y., Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, during his two-day bus trip to talk about college. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

TULLY, N.Y. (AP) — President Barack Obama's two-day education road show pressed on Friday, his armored bus weaving through picturesque central New York, where he surprised high school soccer teams practicing for the upcoming season.

Obama used a drop-by at Tully Central High School to make a direct pitch to students for his plans to tackle college affordability. He's called for creation of a new government ratings system for colleges that would evaluate institutions on tuition prices and perhaps eventually link those ratings to federal financial aid allocations.

"Part of what we want to do is make sure whatever school you decide you want to go to, that you can afford to do it," Obama told the players on the girls' varsity and junior varsity teams.

Outside of Manhattan, a fundraising hub, reliably Democratic New York hasn't seen much attention in recent years from presidents or presidential candidates. So Obama's tour through the state's small cities and towns generated significant attention, with cheering crowds and curious onlookers lining the roadways to watch his motorcade pass by.

The president opened his bus tour Thursday with stops in Buffalo and Syracuse. After stopping in Tully Friday morning, Obama was bound for Binghamton University, where he planned to take questions at a town hall.

Obama's bus tour wraps up Friday evening in Scranton, Pa., Vice President Joe Biden's hometown. Biden plans to join the president at the event.

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