RNC reception coincides with memorial

Jan. 12, 2011 at 9:36 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- House Speaker John Boehner attended a reception Wednesday for the Republican National Committee while a memorial service was being held in Tucson, an aide said.

The aide told Roll Call the Ohio Republican planned to leave the 7 p.m. EST event before President Barack Obama's speech at the memorial service for six people killed at a political event in Tucson Saturday. Another aide said the reception, hosted by Boehner's political action committee and coinciding with an RNC meeting, was scheduled before Saturday's mass shooting, which also left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., critically wounded.

Earlier Wednesday, Boehner paid tribute to Giffords and her aide, Gabriel Zimmerman, in the House. The speaker called Zimmerman, who was killed, "one of our own," The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

"At the time of the attack, he was engaged in the most simple and direct of democratic rituals -- listening to the people, listening to his neighbors," Boehner said.

The RNC reception was held at National Harbor, a resort on the Potomac River in Maryland just south of Washington, Roll Call said.

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