Republican Gets Ride On Air Force One After Complaining
Republican Carlos Curbelo may already have a seat in Congress, but it wasn’t until Wednesday that he finally got what he really wanted: A chance to ride on Air Force One.
The freshman from Florida accompanied President Barack Obama’s Boeing 747 to the Everglades, where the president was attending an Earth Day event. Not only that, but he also was able to enjoy an even more exclusive trip aboard the presidential helicopter, Marine One. Curbelo swiftly took to Twitter to show his joy.
— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) April 22, 2015
“I appreciate the President taking the time to showcase the Florida Everglades, one of the world’s great natural treasures and an important part of the Congressional district I represent,” Curbelo told The Hill.
Just a couple months ago, however, Curbelo had a very different attitude, publicly complaining about the fact that Obama wouldn’t invite him to hitch a ride on his fancy plane. Curbelo was furious when two Democratic lawmakers were allowed to fly with Obama to an immigration townhall in Miami, while Curbelo’s request to come along was denied.
“There is strong support in our community for immigration reform and I was looking forward to participating in what I initially thought was a sincere effort to reach across the aisle and discuss strategies and efforts to achieve this goal,” Curbelo said in February. “Unfortunately, this appears to have been no more than a choreographed, partisan event.”
The White House maintains that Air Force One is open to members of both parties, and that it is standard practice to invite members aboard flights to their district, regardless of party. Neither the White House nor Curbelo’s office has been willing to say whether the Earth Day invitation was intended to make up for February’s slight.
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