BOONE, NC (WBTV) - President Obama stopped in Boone during his bus tour of North Carolina on Monday afternoon -- taking time to check out candy and hold babies.
He left Asheville on the "big black bus" around 11:45 and hit downtown Boone around 3 pm, according to reports.
Obama is in the state to push his so-called "Jobs Bill" which failed in the US Senate. Republicans say his tour is just a tax-payer funded re-election junket.
Once in Boone, the first stop was the Mast General Store, with a major selling point that appeared to be tubs of candy, according to a press report from the White House.
The sales clerk helped guide Obama through "the confectionery paradise."
"So I just scoop it up?" Obama asked the clerk. "That's how it's done." said Obama, unsure of what to do.
As he made his way toward the press, Peter Nicholas of the LA Times said to him: "You won't find this in the White House garden, Mr. President."
"On Halloween, the First Lady doesn't mind," Obama replied, smiling, as he filled a bucket with maple nut clusters, macaroons, and York peppermint patties.
Rounding the corner, Obama saw another long candy counter and said, "It just goes on forever."
After putting more sweets in his bucket, he petted a little black dog that looked like a miniature version of his dog, Bo. "Bo says hi," Obama said to the dog's owner.
As cameras flashed, a group of girls posed for photos behind Obama, prompting him to ask, "are you guys making rabbit ears behind me?"
"Then it was time to heft a baby -- in this case one-year-old Mason Wainwright, whom (Obama) pronounced a 'good-looking boy'," according to the press pool report.
Later, as Obama shook hands in the front of the store, another baby started screaming, and Obama asked, "did someone take his camera away?"
Back outside, the President worked two rope lines on the main street, quizzing young people about their school, and congratulating a young woman who said she was working on her college thesis.
The President then also stopped in at the Our Daily Bread bakery.
On the way out of town, heading back into staunchly Republican Watauga County, one student held a sign that said, "Lame duck."