President Biden will travel to Wisconsin next week for his first “business” trip since taking office in January — but the state’s Democratic governor says he’s “not sure” he’ll be on hand to greet the president.
Biden is scheduled to appear next Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee for a town hall event that will be televised by CNN — but the appearance comes on the same day that Gov. Tony Evers will be unveiling the state budget in Madison, FOX 6 of Milwaukee reported.
“We found out today [that Biden is coming] and frankly, I’m not sure if I’ll be present at that event or not,” Evers told the station. “The most important thing I’m doing that day is giving my budget address, which I will give on the 16th.”
“The most important thing I’m doing that day is giving my budget address.”
Evers’ spending plan reportedly will call for legalizing recreational marijuana, reducing prescription drug costs and investing $740 million in providing care for children and seniors, WAOW-TV of Wausau, Wis., reported.
Mark Jefferson, executive director of Wisconsin’s Republican Party, told FOX 6 there seemed to be something strange about Biden scheduling his visit on an otherwise important day for a Democratic governor.
“It is telling that President Biden has decided to counter-program a governor from his own party,” Jefferson said. “Either the White House isn’t communicating with Democratic governors, or the Democrats realized that it is in Gov. Evers’ best interest for no one to watch him unveil his budget.”
Milwaukee was supposed to host the Democratic National Convention last summer – until the coronavirus pandemic prompted a change in plans. Instead, much of the convention was held online, with some key speeches delivered in Biden’s hometown on Wilmington, Del.
Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee said CNN and the theater exchanged ideas on how to make the president’s appearance follow coronavirus guidelines.
“He wants to come to America’s heartland, and we’re tickled pink that he’s chosen Milwaukee and we’re excited to have him here,” Barrett said.
Since taking office Jan. 20, Biden previously left Washington this past weekend, traveling by plane to his home state of Delaware.
Biden went home “to see my grandchildren and to hang out with Jill to get the rest of the stuff we have to move from our house to the other house,” he told reporters, referring to first lady Jill Biden and to their recent move to the White House, according to The New York Times.
The trip took place despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Americans to avoid travel to help reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus.