President Bush is scheduled to visit the Charleston Air Force Base on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Democratic presidential contenders debate at The Citadel.
Bush will address military personnel at the base, a White House spokesman said. More details on the visit could be announced today.
The president is coming at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who fought hard for Bush's ultimately unsuccessful immigration reform deal.
Graham said Thursday he is pleased that the president took him up on his offer, because the visit will showcase those serving at the Charleston Air Force Base.
"You will not find a more supportive military community," Graham said in a statement. "The contributions being made by our military members at the AFB are historic. I know they will be excited and proud to hear from their commander in chief."
Bush last visited Charleston in October, when he also spoke at the airbase. His visit Tuesday comes a day after the eight leading Democratic presidential candidates gather for a live debate that CNN will televise from 7-9 p.m. from The Citadel.
This won't be the first time Bush has swooped into South Carolina after a big day for Democrats. In early 2004 he visited South Carolina and New Hampshire just days after the Democratic presidential primaries. South Carolina Democrats criticized the timing of that Bush visit, which focused on port security, and they were vocal Thursday about the next one.
The state party had no comment, but Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Waring Howe told WCSC-TV that Bush's visit was clearly an attempt to upstage the Democratic debate.
Graham said: "I admire the President's boldness and willingness to confront great challenges, both here at home and abroad. I'm honored to help him where I can with these difficult problems. I realize what we do today will shape our state, nation and world future for generations to come."