Entries in Visit (6)


Iowa Students Make It to White House Gates But Not Inside

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- They didn’t get the White House tour they had hoped for, but the group of Iowa students who are pushing the White House to reopen tours to the public made it to the White House gates Saturday morning.

The 6th graders from St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Waverly, Iowa posed for photos outside the White House while holding individual paper signs spelling out the phrase, “The White House is our house!  Please let us visit!”  Onlookers cheered the kids in their efforts, with one may saying, “Way to go young people!”

“It’s kind of disappointing, but it’s still kind of fun to see the White House,” Mosai Newsom, one of the sixth grade students, told ABC News.

Seth Abkemeier, another 6th grader who has gone on a White House tour on a previous visit to Washington, D.C., said it’s important for people to have access to the history that can be seen on a White House tour.

“It shows our nation’s history within the White House, and it’s important we get to see this up close” Abkemeier said.  “Like we’ve been saying for a whole week now – it’s our house.”

“I would really like it if you could open the White House, so we could let the tours in,” Naomi Carpenter, a sixth grade student at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, said when asked to send a message to the president.

On Friday, the sixth grade students received a tour of the Capitol where they looked at the Mall from the Speaker’s balcony and stepped on the floors of the House and Senate chambers.  After their stop at the White House Saturday, the kids were planning to hit the Smithsonian museums to take in more of the nation’s history.

“You couldn’t ask for a better learning environment,” Lynn Brown, the students’ sixth grade teacher, said.  “It would have been a benefit and a plus to visit the White House, however, I think the kids take away more than just what they’ll remember through pictures.  The experience this has generated in their hearts and minds has been extraordinary.”

And while they didn’t get into the White House themselves, the kids hoped that others might benefit from their hard work.

“I guess it was OK if we didn’t get to go to the White House, as long as other people get to,” Newsom said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Heads to Puerto Rico for Official Visit

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) -- With his sights set on 2012, President Obama will spend his Tuesday on an official visit to Puerto Rico, even though the island's 3.7 million residents cannot vote in the general presidential election.

The trip is being viewed as a grand gesture aimed at courting Puerto Rican voters on the mainland, particularly those in the key state of Florida.

As a commonwealth, Puerto Ricans have American citizenship, but lack voting representation in Congress and, while they can vote in a primary, they cannot cast votes in the general election.

Shortly after arriving in San Juan from Miami on Tuesday morning, the president will make brief remarks at a welcome event at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport before visiting La Fortaleza, the historic governor's mansion.  Later, after two interviews with local media, Obama will attend a Democratic National Committee event.

It's been decades since the last "official" visit by a president to Puerto Rico -- not since President Kennedy came in 1961.  Presidents Ford and Johnson both visited the island after that, but on business not directly related to Puerto Rico.

This, however, is not Obama's first time on the island.  He visited Puerto Rico during the 2008 campaign and promised to return.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Heads to France for G8 Summit

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(DEAUVILLE, France) -- After spending two days in London, President Obama will continue his European trip Thursday in Deauville, France, where he will attend the G8 summit.

Before the summit, Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Medvedev at the Hotel Royal Barriere in Deauville.

"One of the core foreign policy objectives when we came into office was the Russia reset," Deputy National Security Advisors for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes said. "It has been one of the most productive relationships for the United States in terms of the signing and ratification of the new START treaty, cooperation on nuclear security, cooperation with regard to Iran sanctions and nonproliferation generally, the Northern Distribution Network into Afghanistan that supports our effort there, and our discussions with Russia about expanding trade ties and their interest in joining the WTO, as well as Russia's increased cooperation with NATO that was manifested by the NATO-Russia meetings in Lisbon."

Afterward, President Obama will be officially welcomed by French President Sarkozy, the host of the summit in his country.  The leaders will then attend G8 working sessions in the afternoon.

In the G8 meetings there will be a discussion of the situation in Japan, "expressing solidarity with the people of Japan, and a discussion of nuclear safety, nuclear power safety more generally," Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs said.

There will be a discussion of the global economy and "the situation of the global recovery and risks to that global recovery, as well a dialogue around trade and climate change and advancing those agendas."

Obama will then hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kan at the Hotel Royal Barriere where they will discuss Japan's post-earthquake recovery.

Obama will wrap up his day attending a dinner with G8 leaders at Le Ciro's Barriere Restaurant.  He will spend the night in Deauville.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cursed Travel? Obama's Trips Plagued by Mother Nature

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(LONDON) -- President Obama is in Europe this week to discuss economic and security issues, but his long-planned voyage has been overshadowed by the devastation in Joplin, Missouri, where the single deadliest tornado in 60 years has killed 116 people.

This is not the first time one of Obama's international trips has been eclipsed by a disaster.  Several of his previous voyages have been cursed by Mother Nature and other unforeseen circumstances.

Last year, he shelved his trip to Indonesia and Australia because of the BP oil spill disaster.  He had previously postponed that trip because of the health care vote.

The president also couldn't fly to the funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in April 2010 because of volcanic ash emitting from Iceland.  He had to cut his November Indonesia trip short for the same reason.

On Monday, an Icelandic ash cloud -- albeit from a different volcano -- forced the president and his staff to leave Ireland a day earlier than planned.  He was originally scheduled to spend the night there but due to the erupting Grimsvotn volcano, he was forced to leave for England Monday night.

If all goes as planned, the president and first lady will stay in London for two days, meeting with members of the royal family -- including the Queen, and Prince William and his new bride Catherine -- while there.  The Obamas will spend Tuesday night at Buckingham Palace.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Kicks off European Trip in Ireland

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(DUBLIN) -- After an overnight flight, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama touched down in Dublin, Ireland Monday morning on the first day of their week-long, four-country European trip.

After landing under cloudy skies and a light rain, Obama commented that the "sun is coming out" as he and his wife arrived at the president's residence in Dublin to sign the guest book.  Once there, the president and first lady met with Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Dr. Martin McAleese and participated in a tree planting ceremony with President McAleese.

During Monday's visit to Ireland, President Obama is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at Farmleigh.  He will also travel with the first lady to Moneygall to meet with distant relatives and tour the town where his great, great, great grandfather was born.

"This is a homecoming of sorts for President Obama.  He's very excited to see this small town in Ireland from which he has roots," Deputy National Security Advisors for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes said previewing the visit.

Obama will wrap up his day delivering remarks at an Irish Celebration at College Green in Dublin.

"I think it's a chance to talk about the relationship between our two countries," Rhodes said previewing the speech.  "It's also a chance to talk about the enormous affinity, frankly, that the American people have for Ireland that's rooted, in part, in the huge population of Irish-Americans here.  And it's a chance for the president to really celebrate the ties between our countries and the kind of unique feelings the American people have for Ireland and hopefully that the Irish people, you know, have had with the United States for many years."

The president and first lady will spend the night in Dublin.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Vice President Biden Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan 

Photo Courtesy - Joe Raedle/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Afghanistan Monday in an unannounced visit to the country, according to the White House.

The vice president will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and visit U.S. service members during his stay in Afghanistan in an effort to assess the readiness of transitioning security in the country to Afghan-led forces.

The last time Biden visited Afghanistan was in January of 2009 as vice president-elect.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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