NEWPORT NEWS—NEWPORT NEWS — President Barack Obama greeted supporters at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport on Saturday afternoon on his way to Williamsburg to prepare for Tuesday's debate.
More than 40 people clapped and cheered as Obama exited Air Force One about 2:30 p.m. and began shaking hands. Several in the crowd wore patriotic attire, including stars or Democratic pins, and one person yelled, “Thank you, Mr. President.”
Stetson Bardfield, 11, and his mother, Christal Bardfield, of Fort Belvoir came to support Obama, as health reform would ensure Stetson access to health insurance, they said. Stetson's legs were amputated at the knee at age 5 due to a joint disorder, and he uses expensive prosthetics to walk, his mother said.
Joyce Dial of Chesterfield County, who came with retired Army Col. Cortez Dial, called meeting Obama an “opportunity of a lifetime.” She's been drumming up Democratic support since 1967 and showed off her rhinestone donkey pin to the president.
Jayden Redd, 3, of Virginia Beach told the president, “Nice to meet you.”
After Obama finished walking down the line of supporters, he waved goodbye and entered a vehicle that was part of the motorcade escorted by state police.
Among those on hand to greet Obama as he stepped off the plane were Newport News Mayor McKinley Price, Williamsburg Mayor Clyde Haulman, Hampton Mayor Molly Ward, Hampton Vice Mayor George Wallace, Hampton Democratic Committee chair Gaylene Kanoyton, James Gerald, John Rovenolt and Michael York.