After announcing Wednesday that he'd spend Thursday night at Boeing's North Charleston campus instead of at the Capitol listening to President Barack Obama's jobs speech, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint ended up sticking around Washington, D.C., after all.
But the South Carolina Republican didn't attend the president's address to a joint session of Congress. Instead, he was on the phone with state business leaders while Obama spoke.
DeMint then cast an essentially symbolic vote against the increase in the federal government's debt limit before he was set to fly to Charleston, where he is scheduled today to make a speech of his own, to the National Speakers Conference, a gathering of state elected leaders from around the country.
DeMint had planned to leave Washington in protest of Obama's speech, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled the debt- ceiling vote immediately following the presidential address, compelling both DeMint and his colleague from Louisiana, David Vitter, to revise their travel plans.
The meeting with Boeing officials and workers will be rescheduled, according to Wesley Denton, a DeMint spokesman.
Charleston Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said Boeing hosts visitors "all the time here" and that DeMint's cancellation was "not that extraordinary."
But the circumstances of DeMint's planned visit were unusual.
Last week, Obama had asked to address Congress on Wednesday night, but that conflicted with the Republican presidential primary debate, so House Speaker John Boehner asked Obama to speak Thursday.
DeMint and Vitter had pledged to skip the speech even after Obama accommodated Boehner's request, citing job creation priorities in their home states.
Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him on Twitter at @kearney_brendan.