FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear will not accompany President Barack Obama on Friday when he visits Fort Campbell to greet soldiers who have returned from Afghanistan.
Vice President Joe Biden also is scheduled to make the trip to Kentucky.
"Unfortunately, the president's visit was not confirmed until late last night — too late to make arrangements in the governor's schedule, considering his Oaks Day obligations," Beshear spokeswoman Kerri Richardson said when asked why Beshear will not be with the president, a fellow Democrat.
"However, the governor congratulates the president and the Navy SEALs for their incredible actions this week, and the soldiers and families of Fort Campbell will surely appreciate the president's visit and gratitude," she said.
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Richardson said Beshear "has visited Fort Campbell several times in the past and looks forward to visiting Fort Campbell in the future as our soldiers continue to return home."
Obama, who is not popular in Kentucky, will be making his first visit to the state as president.
Helicopter pilots from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which has a battalion at Fort Campbell, supported the SEAL team that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday.