Ohio politicians meet with President Joe Biden on visit to Columbus

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A presidential visit means that many local politicians will take advantage of the opportunity for a word or two. Joe Biden coming to Columbus on Tuesday was no exception.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday that he would be at John Glenn International Airport to welcome the president to Ohio. Although Biden is a Democrat and DeWine a Republican, the governor said the courtesy of greeting a chief executive is the same regardless of party.

Last fall, DeWine met with Donald Trump before a campaign rally in Circleville, but that move was criticized as being seen of DeWine supporting an event that went against his health orders for social-distancing and mask-wearing. DeWine defended his actions with similar comments about the duty of greeting a sitting president.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat who is seen as a possible challenger to DeWine when he seeks reelection in 2022, said she would be on hand to greet the president in series of posts on Twitter.

“I’m so proud of my work with mayors from both parties to help make sure the bill included money for our local communities,” she wrote. “$4.6 billion is coming to Ohio to help pay for first responders, public health workers, and many other vital services so that we can build back stronger.”

In the same thread, she criticized DeWine for saying he would have voted against the federal COVID-19 relief package that included $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans.

Whaley later tweeted a selfie of her and Biden.

Rep, Joyce Beatty, a Democrat whose district includes sections of Columbus, also said she would join Biden on his visit.

Upon landing at John Glenn International, Biden spent several minutes inside a building next to the runway where he met several officials. According to a list from the White House, among those present were State Sen. Hearcel F. Craig of Columbus, State Rep. Kristin Boggs of Ashtabula, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, and state Democratic Party chair Elizabeth Walters.

Tina Maharath, a state senator from Columbus, posted on Twitter that she took her son to the airport to meet Biden.

Also there was Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Jeni’s produced a special flavor in honor of Biden, White House Chocolate Chip, earlier this year. And last September, Biden posted a photo of a Jeni’s ice cream container and jokingly called it his “performance enhancers” before a debate with Trump.

A representative said that Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther would be out of town Tuesday and unable to meet with the president.

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