COLUMBIA — President Barack Obama will be making his first trip to South Carolina as president on Friday, said a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.
Amanda Loveday, spokeswoman for Clyburn, said on Sunday details from the White House are scarce, but so far it is confirmed that Obama will stop at Benedict College in Columbia for a “youth event.”
“I’m pleased to welcome President Barack Obama back to South Carolina on Friday, March 6th,” said Clyburn in a Facebook post. “This is his first trip to the Palmetto State as President and I thank President David Swinton and the Benedict College family for hosting President Obama’s event with students and youth leaders.”
Obama has not been in the Palmetto State since January 2008, when he won the Democratic presidential primary. South Carolina is one of three states Obama has not visited as president.
Gov. Nikki Haley — who has been critical of Obama’s policies and most recently had South Carolina join several states in suing his administration for his immigration-related executive order — welcomed the president in a written statement.
“We welcome President Obama to South Carolina,” Haley said. “We are proud of the people and the successes of our state and look forward to President Obama seeing and experiencing those successes firsthand.”
The Republican Party, however, had a different take on Obama’s visit. South Carolina GOP Chairman Matt Moore suggested Obama instead spend his time being “more productive” in the state’s “beautiful golf courses.”
“From blocking construction of the Keystone Pipeline to driving up health care costs to attacking South Carolina manufacturers through the NLRB, it’s clear why this President hasn’t visited South Carolina in seven years,” Moore said in a written statement.
Ali Pardo, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said in a written statement Obama’s agenda has “failed the middle class.”
“On Friday, the President should explain to the students at Benedict College why he is leaving our generation with the burden of paying for his out of control spending and failing policies,” Pardo said.
Though Obama has not visited the Palmetto State in recent years, Vice President Joe Biden has frequented South Carolina. He visited Charleston in February, and also addressed graduates at the University of South Carolina in May.
Staff writer Andy Paras contributed to this story.