Update: November 8, 2013, 3:33 pm.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) skipped an event with President Barack Obama in her homestate of Louisiana on Friday.
The senator from Louisiana got a ride to her homestate on Air Force One but did not appear with Obama while he toured the Port of New Orleans for an event on the economy.
Obama praised Landrieu during his visit saying that “nobody is a tougher advocate” for the people of Louisiana than Landrieu, according to Huffington Post reporter Jennifer Bendery.
In a press gaggle with reporters White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest was asked about criticism that Landrieu decided to fly on Air Force One but not join Obama at the event.
“Well, I don’t want to — I haven’t spoken to Senator Landrieu about it,” Earnest said according to a White House readout of the press gaggle. “I did read in some local report that she has another event in another part of the state today. You should check with her. But my hunch is that she is strongly supportive of the President’s efforts to promote investments in the Port of New Orleans and in other infrastructure projects like it that are so critical to the economy not just in the New Orleans area, but all across the country.”
Landrieu’s office said she could not accompany Obama because of previously scheduled events in Lake Charles.
“Sen. Landrieu traveled aboard Air Force One to New Orleans. During the flight, she spoke to the President about the importance of flood insurance reform and thanked him for his help with the disaster loan forgiveness that came this week for St. Tammany and Jefferson parishes,” Landrieu spokesman Matthew Lehner said in a statement to TPM.
“She, along with Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, greeted the President at Louis Armstrong International Airport.
“Due to previously long-scheduled events in Lake Charles, the Senator did not attend the event at the Port of New Orleans.”
Landrieu is up for re-election in 2014. She faces Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and tea party challenger Lt. Col. Rob Maness (R).