A day after speaking to college kids in Buffalo, NY, the President's $1.1 million, customized, Canadian-built bus rolled onto the campus of Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA on Friday afternoon.
Image:AFP/Getty Images Jewel Samad
When he arrived, Vice President Joe Biden (a Scranton native) was also on board "Ground Force One." However, a couple of prominent local politicians - both Democrats, have decided to skip the event. One of the officials, State Representative Kevin Haggerty posted his regrets via his Facebook page:
Our families are out of work and poor and all the president continues to do is tour the country like Bruce Springstein [sic], as though seeing his face is some kind of prophetic inspiration.
Forget the speech Mr President. We are not dumb. Why don’t you spend a few nights here, sit down in closed doors and ensure we don’t turn out like Detroit.
Haggerty's statement caused a stir among the locals and he was invited to appear on David Madeira's Scranton radio show where he explained himself a little further, telling Madeira's audience:
We have the highest unemployment rate in the state. They say it’s 8.9% but really it’s up around 18-20% because of people who have stopped looking for work. Our taxes, both Lackawanna and Scranton City, have gone up 200% in the past 5 years. We also have the highest foreclosure rate in the country…
Seniors are coming into my office saying they can’t afford their electricity and their medicine. If they pay for their medicine, they are afraid they are going to lose their homes because they are going into foreclosure.
The State Representative also prosed that the President take part in an economic summit for the area instead of "giving another speech."
But Haggerty's was not the biggest name choosing to avoid the event. Also rejecting the Presidential visit was Matt Cartwright the U.S. Congressional Representative for Pennsylvania's 17th District.
What reason did Cartwright give for skipping an opportunity to be seen with the two most powerful people in his party and the country? According to the Times Tribune, Cartwright said, “I am committed making [sic] every effort to guarantee that students will be able to attend a school of their choosing by protecting federal grants and working to keep the cost of student loans low."
TheBlaze reached out to both Haggerty and Cartwright and received no reply.
H/T David Madeira - Listen to his interview with State Rep Haggerty HERE.
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter - @stuntbrain