6:46am

Thu May 12, 2011
Politics in the Commonwealth

Governor Defends Oaks Time

Governor Steve Beshear says he didn’t  intend to give the wrong impression last week when he went to the Kentucky Oaks horse race instead of Fort Campbell where President Barack Obama was visiting.  Beshear has faced some criticism for not changing his schedule to meet the President, but the governor says he had to attend Oaks to meet with visiting business leaders who could bring jobs to Kentucky.

"You know, these folks come in and they want to see the governor of the state. And we had already committed to visit with them and talk with them about what they could do in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I just felt like I had to be there in terms of future job growth," said Beshear.

 Beshear has been a guest to the White House for previous events and says he didn't talk to officials with the Obama administration about his absence at Fort Campbell, but he's confident they understand his obligations. Beshear says he supports the president.

"Well there's absolutely no intention at all to snub the president, and, you know, the White House knows it. They understand that. And we will continue to work with this President, particularly when we agree with something he's doing and we'll continue to fight him when they're doing something we don't agree with," added Beshear.

Beshear's decision to forgo Fort Campbell has been roundly criticized by the Louisville NAACP and various state politicians. The governor, who is seeking re-election, says he doesn't think the controversy will hurt his appeal with voters.

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