The New Deal Democrats, the student group that had organized Buttigieg’s visit, was prepared to welcome Patrick, as well. But as the former Massachusetts governor arrived Wednesday night, just two people had shown up for the event, CNN’s Annie Grayer reported, posting a photo to Twitter of an empty room.
Patrick then canceled the event, Julian Hemmings, president and founder of New Deal Democrats at Morehouse College, told CNN and the Boston Globe.
“The campaign is telling us that they had to catch a flight,” Hemmings told Boston.com in an email.
Hemmings said that it was pulled together at the last minute. Patrick was not invited to speak at Morehouse until Tuesday, the eve of the fifth presidential primary debate. He had jumped into the race only five days earlier, positioning himself as a more palatable candidate for Democratic voters who feel like they must choose between the “nostalgia” of a pre-President Trump era and those of the liberal left.
The Globe reported that a campaign announcement had Patrick scheduled to meet with students and the editorial boards of local student newspapers at 7:45 p.m., an hour and 15 minutes before the primary debate began.
“It was an honor and pleasure that he wanted to speak with student journalists and New Deal Democrats,” Hemmings told the Globe. “We hope that we could do this again.”