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UPDATED: McDonnell issues late Democratic invites to State of Union response

Anita Kumar

Early today, Gov. Bob McDonnell's office told us that the 300 people that were hand -picked to hear the governor give his response to President Obama's State of the Union tonight included Democratic leaders of the General Assembly.

But House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong tells us that he was just invited to attend the speech that will take place in the state Capitol two hours ago when he received a personal call from the governor on his cell phone.

"It may be little late, but I'm not offended,'' Armstrong said. "He's trying to figure things out."

McDonnell's press office has not released the list of guests attending the speech tonight despite our requests today.

"The Democratic leadership is being invited to the speech,'' McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said earlier today. "And if they want to join us for the Republican Address to the Nation, in response to the remarks of the President, we would be honored to welcome them."

UPDATE: The House's number two Democrat Ken Plum says he too was not offended by the late invitation from McDonnell. He said he received word that he'd been invited first via rumor from a Republican delegate and later from his office this afternoon. While not planning to attend, Plum -- with a touch of challenging sarcasm -- said he eagerly awaited hearing what McDonnell has to say. "The situation we face in Virginia is not unlike that faced by states all over the country. I think the governor has the opportunity to speak to the nation and tell them some hints of what we're going to do here in Virginia." Democrats have been criticizing McDonnell for not yet releasing his ideas on how to cut $4 billion from the state budget.

By Anita Kumar  |  January 27, 2010; 7:18 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: UPDATED: Excerpts: Gov. Bob McDonnell's response to the State of the Union address

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