President Bush in OKC, asks Oklahomans to help evacuees

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - President Bush is in Oklahoma for a brief visit today.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett greeted the president as he stepped off Air Force One at Tinker Air Force Base.

The president honored volunteers Dan Rooney and Karen Stark for projects they created to help soldiers.

In brief remarks to reporters he said he's monitoring Hurricane Ike and urged Texans to "listen carefully" to authorities in the Galveston area.

Officials are calling for evacuation of Galveston and low-lying areas of Houston.

"I am deeply concerned about Hurricane Ike. It is a major storm headed toward a large population center. I was on the phone this morning with Secretary Chertoff and Director Paulison of FEMA. I spoke to my friend, Governor Perry, yesterday. The state of Texas is preparing for this emergency. I suspect there’s going to be some Texans headed for Oklahoma, and I know that they’re going to find good people up here who want to help ‘em," Bush said.

He traveled to Oklahoma City for a discussion about health care where a small group of war protesters gathered.

A group of supporters also showed up with welcome signs.

The president will also attend a fund-raiser for the Republican Party and presidential nominee John McCain.

Among those traveling with the president are Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and Representatives Frank Lucas, Mary Fallin, John Sullivan, Tom Cole and Dan Boren.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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