Topeka Gov. Sam Brownback said Monday that because of a previous commitment, he would be unavailable to welcome President Barack Obama, who is visiting Osawatomie Tuesday.
“It is always an honor to have the president in Kansas,” Brownback said.
“I regret that because of a long-standing commitment with Wichita State University, I cannot greet President Obama personally. I look forward to speaking with my former colleague again soon about how we can move our country forward,” he said. Brownback, a Republican, served in the U.S. Senate with Obama, a Democrat.
Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech on the economy in Osawatomie, the site of a famous speech delivered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910, in which Roosevelt called for a greater economic and social justice.
Brownback said that Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and his family will welcome Obama on behalf of the state of Kansas.
Brownback is scheduled to participate in a noon session of the Kansas in Question symposium, sponsored by Wichita State University, the Kansas Leadership Center, the Kansas Health Foundation and Wichita Eagle newspaper. Obama is scheduled to talk in Osawatomie about 1 p.m.
The Kansas Republican Party issued a news release criticizing Obama’s handling of the economy. “ … when it comes to the economy, Barack Obama has been all rhetoric and no results with the exception of one — a shrinking labor force.”
But Kansas Democratic Party Chair Joan Wagnon said, “I don’t know what the president is going to say, but if he talks about making wealthy corporations and the richest of the rich pay their fair share, that will be a good beginning to restoring prosperity.”