The Washington Post

McDonnell to attend Obama’s event in Virginia on Friday

Virginians will welcome President Obama back to Virginia on Friday — and, this time, Gov. Bob McDonnell will be on hand.

President Obama and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, left, at the National Governors Association dinner at the White House. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

“The governor looks forward to welcoming the president to Virginia,” McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said.

Obama will tour and deliver remarks on the economy at Rolls-Royce Crosspointe, a manufacturing and research facility opened by the aircraft-engine maker last year.

Obama frequently crosses the Potomac into the swing state, though he’s increased his appearances in recent months. It is his fourth appearance in Virginia in the past six months to announce economic initiatives. Friday’s visit comes three days after the GOP presidential primary in Virginia.

Obama's campaign has five offices in Virginia and a dozen or more staffers.

McDonnell and Obama appeared in Hampton in October. The governor was seated at first lady Michelle Obama’s table last week at a dinner at the White House.

McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has stepped up his criticism of Obama in recent months as he campaigns for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and eyes a spot on a national ticket.

No Republican presidential candidate has much of a presence in Virginia yet. Only former Massachusetts governor Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) appeared on the Virginia ballot, which has made the state less competitive this spring than it’s expected to be in the fall.

In 2008, Obama became the first Democratic candidate to carry Virginia in 44 years, but since then, Democrats have lost ground.

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