Another state legislator says Obama will be in Roanoke on Friday, and the campaign offers a preview of the president’s Virginia tour
Late on Friday the Associated Press published a story saying that President Barack Obama would visit Hampton, Virginia Beach and Roanoke on a two-day swing through the commonwealth later this week.
The Obama campaign wouldn’t confirm that report, but later in the evening Del. Onzlee Ware said he’d been told by campaign officials that Obama would visit Roanoke on Friday.
Today, Virginia Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, said he’s been told the same thing.
“I understand he’s supposed to be coming in Friday afternoon to Roanoke, and then to wherever else he’s going,” said Edwards, who has served as an Obama campaign surrogate at least twice in recent months.
“Somebody from the Obama campaign called me on Friday to let me know they’re coming through, but I don’t know any more than that,” Edwards said. “I don’t think the details have been firmed up yet.”
Again, we pressed the Obama campaign’s Virginia representatives, but they declined to confirm that Roanoke is on the schedule.
They did, however, send along this statement:
“On Friday, July 13, President Obama will kick off a two-day tour across Virginia. In communities and neighborhoods throughout the state, the President will discuss the clear economic choice for middle class families in this election: between his vision for moving our country forward, ensuring an economy built to last and developing a strong economy build from the middle out, not the top down, and Mitt Romney’s vision, which would take us back to the same failed economic policies that brought on the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. During the Virginia visit, the President will underscore his plan to continue rebuilding an economy for the middle class that invests in education, energy, innovation, and infrastructure — steps that will create American jobs, responsibly pay down our debt and ensure everyone – from Wall Street to Main Street – plays by the same rules and pays their fair share. ”
I also checked with the Roanoke city manager’s office to see whether anybody with the campaign had been in touch regarding civic facilities, police or anything else that might have to do with an event involving the president.
“I don’t have any information I can provide at this time,” said Assistant City Manager Sherman Stovall.
We’re still trying to find out what we can about Obama’s rumored visit to Roanoke and will post when we have more information.
In the meantime, here’s a bit of trivia from Dwayne Yancey: The last time a sitting president held a public event in Roanoke? Jimmy Carter — who headlined a rally for gubernatorial candidate “Howlin’” Henry Howell at the civic center in 1977.
Both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush passed through the Roanoke Regional Airport on their way to events elsewhere, but neither held a public event in the Roanoke Valley during their terms.
– Mason Adams