CANNON FALLS  (AP) - More than 1,000 people gathered outside Cannon Falls City Hall in hopes of snagging a ticket to hear President Barack Obama speak on the first stop of his three-day bus trip across the Midwest.

Police report that residents of Cannon Falls and nearby cities lined up with coolers, umbrellas and lawn chairs as early as 2 a.m. Sunday.

Organizers started handing out the free tickets about 1 p.m.

They ran out after 2 p.m., and hundreds of people were turned away. The bus tour of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois marks a political counteroffensive by Obama, who's been weighed down by a stunted economy, wilting support among some of his strongest backers, and daily bashings from Republicans campaigning for his job.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)