Gutknecht says Bush visit a boost

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 18, 2002

Congressman Gil Gutknecht flew back to Minnesota from Capitol Hill to welcome President Bush who is arriving in Rochester today for the state GOP campaign. His visit will focus on support for U.S. Senate candidate Norm Coleman.

&uot;It’s obviously a boost to local Republicans, and I think it’s going to be a boost to Norm Coleman and Tim Pawlenty, and entire Republican ticket,&uot; said Gutknecht. &uot;But, I think the President also sees this opportunity as having a real chance to go out to Middle America and speak directly to the American people. These are events in which the White House is able to speak over the Washington press cloud.&uot;

Air Force One will be touching down at Rochester Airport around noon today. Bush will speak at 1:50 p.m. in the fieldhouse at the University Center Rochester Regional Sports Center, on the Rochester Community and Technical College campus. The president is scheduled to leave the state about an hour later.

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This will be Bush’s fourth trip to the state since becoming president.

Gutknecht said that GOP campaign staffs and volunteers distributed about 6,000 tickets.

&uot;We are looking forward to the great opportunity to show off Rochester, Minnesota, and southeastern Minnesota to the president of United States. And I think he’s gonna get a very very warm welcome. And we will get a chance to hear what he has to say about some of the important issues today,&uot; Gutknecht said.

-The Associated Press contributed to this article.