By Michael O'Brien - 05/01/10 10:00 AM EDT
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) launched a preemptive attack on President
Barack ObamaBarack ObamaGreen Party nominee escorted off debate premises Obama defends work on tribal issues Charlotte requires race discussion Hillary, Democrats refuse to have MORE on Saturday, warning the president to heed Michigan's poor
economic condition while he's in the state.
Hoekstra, who's running for governor of Michigan, said he welcomed Obama to the state, where the president will deliver the commencement address at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, but said Obama should also look around in the state for the effects of policies Hoekstra had said adversely affected the state's economy.
“We also welcome the opportunity to show the president – first-hand – the painful plight of the people of Michigan," the congressman added.
The president chose to deliver the speech at Michigan to emphasize the role of education in growing the economy, the White House said in a statement previewing the speech.
"President Obama will challenge graduates to write the next chapter in our nation's great story," the statement said. "He will ask them to eschew partisan rancor and come together to move the country forward as generations of Americans facing critical moments in our history have before them."
Obama will visit a state hit especially hard by the current recession. The state's unemployment rate stands at 14.9 percent through the end of March, and the administration had to take drastic steps in 2009 to bail out General Motors and Chrysler, two main contributors to the state's traditional auto economy.
Hoekstra took aim at the president for what he said were unkept promises on ending bailouts and the effects of the stimulus, saying Michigan voters have little reason to trust the president.
"Republicans are standing with the American people and the people of Michigan by fighting for an end to permanent bailouts, ending wasteful Washington spending, and proposing a plan that would address the root causes of the financial crisis," he said. "We are standing for real solutions."
"Today’s graduates at the University of Michigan are looking for the economic freedom and opportunity of every previous American generation," the congressman, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, added. "Let’s give it to them."