ST. LOUIS – Governor Eric Greitens’ latest public appearance may have been one to be heavily criticized… if it ever happened.
The Republican governor on Thursday was scheduled to deliver remarks at the National Urban League’s annual conference, addressing attendees of the “Women of Power” awards luncheon, but the Governor never took the stage.
News that the Governor would be speaking stirred up emotions from several female lawmakers, who took to Twitter to express their displeasure.
Gov. Greitens speaking at the @NatUrbanLeague Women’s luncheon is like Colonel Sanders telling chickens about his new civil rights plan.
— Tishaura O. Jones (@tishaura) July 27, 2017
— RepStaceyNewman (@staceynewman) July 27, 2017
The rub here is that Gov. Greitens on Wednesday signed off on new restrictions for abortions, and some of the attendees of the luncheon tend to lean to the other side of that issue. In fact, one of the speakers for the luncheon last year was Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood.
The Missouri Times reached out to inquire about the Governor’s absence and his spokesman, Parker Briden, responded:
“It was brought to our attention that the Governor was mistakenly listed on the lineup; however, we declined the invitation from the National Urban League on Thursday, July 13th due to a scheduling conflict with previous commitments.”
The day of the event still had Greitens listed on the National Urban League’s schedule for the luncheon on their website.
The National Urban League released a statement saying the Governor was “never confirmed to attend.”
*Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include the response from the Governor’s Press Secretary.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.