'Bus Force One' hits the road as Obama is labelled 'threat' to US
An armoured "battle bus", fitted out with a lavish interior and bought by the US Secret Service, is being used by US President Barack Obama as he takes a campaign-style tour through the US midwest.
The company that made the bus sold two to the US Secret Service at a cost of over $2.2m (€1,527,041) and has provided vehicles for Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and the Pope.
Hemphill Brothers Coach Company of Whites Creek, Tennessee, sold the buses last year.
Black, with dark tinted windows and complete with flashing police-style red and blue lights, the model is in stark contrast to the glitzy campaign buses that are a staple of American elections.
The second battle bus will be provided to the Republican presidential nominee.
Once it becomes clear a candidate is certain to secure the nomination, US Secret Service protection is provided if the candidate does not already have it for another reason.
Because they are part of the official US government fleet, contenders will not be able to splash their political logos or other banners over the buses.
Security officials declined to disclose the exact specifications of the bus, already dubbed "Bus Force One", but said the precautions were in line with those taken for other presidential vehicles.
Meanwhile, the new Republican presidential candidate, Rick Perry, has denounced Mr Obama as "the greatest threat to our country" and called for him to be replaced by a new commander-in-chief, "who's passionate about America".
In his opening attack on Mr Obama following his entry into the race for the Republican nomination last weekend, the Texas governor, who served in the US Air Force, said soldiers would "like to see a person who's worn the uniform" in the Oval Office. (© Daily Telegraph, London)