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Dustin Monke, Forum News Service, Published October 30 2013

Obama declines Cramer's invitation to visit ND Bakken region

DICKINSON, N.D. - North Dakota’s lone member of the U.S. House said he doesn’t think President Barack Obama gave his invitation to visit the state serious consideration.

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer said Wednesday that he was disappointed but not shocked that Obama declined his invitation to visit the state for the first time during his presidency.

Cramer sent the invitation Friday and on Tuesday received notice from the White House that the president had declined the invitation. No reason was provided, according to Cramer’s office, though the response said the president appreciated the request.

Cramer said he understands, but also believes the president needs to see the positives of development happening in North Dakota.

“Don’t get me wrong, I get the pressures of a president. He’s a busy guy,” Cramer said during a phone interview. “But for me, I really sincerely thought this had a chance, given everything else that’s going on. It’s such a good news story. Plus, he really could learn some things — and I don’t mean that arrogantly. I really think he could see some good examples of common sense and application of things, especially agriculture and energy, and even our military.”

Cramer said he would like Obama to see western North Dakota’s Oil Patch and the development it has created, a pad with multiple oil wells and experience the technology behind the industry.

“I’d want him to see a true footprint of a multiple-well site, so he could see that the environmental footprint on 10 or even 20 wells is not that imposing,” Cramer said. “The technology has made drilling for oil a lot less imposing than he thinks it is, or that it used to be.”

The congressman would also like the president to visit a North Dakota farm and meet with a farm family affected by Washington politics surrounding the farm bill and Affordable Care Act.

North Dakota is one of six states Obama has not visited during his presidency. He previously visited North Dakota during a 2008 campaign stop in Grand Forks.

Though Obama declined his offer to visit North Dakota, Cramer said he wants to again invite the president to the state before his time in the White House is over.

“It’s flyover country, it’s a red state and all that. I get that,” Cramer said. “But it’s a good brand. It’s a place that Wall Street, world markets and the national media is paying a lot of attention to, and it just seems that he could be too.”