Obama, Union Workers Pay Visit To Downtown Orlando Bar

Published On: Oct 25 2011 08:25:52 AM EDT
Updated On: Oct 12 2011 08:40:39 AM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

The out of work constructions workers that chatted with President Barack Obama over a beer at a downtown Orlando pub say they had no idea they were about to meet the president.

A photo published on the front page of the Orlando Sentinel shows Obama toasting his Guinness with four people at the Harp and Celt restaurant and pub on Magnolia Avenue after Obama attended a fundraiser at a nearby hotel Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, the group said they had no idea they were chosen to meet with the president until they sat down at the bar. They said they were invited to hear the president speak at the nearby fundraiser, but were then diverted to the pub.

Obama cheers-ed to finding new jobs as the group told the president how tough it has been to find jobs in Central Florida.

The three men and a woman are members of a plumbers and pipe fitters union.

"Flabbergasted. I didn't even really know what to do at first, and there was his hand, so I shook it, and I stood up and went, 'Oh, Mr. President. Nice to meet you. It's an honor,'" one of the men said.

The group said it was the chance of a lifetime to talk to the president about what they need the most -- jobs.

"There's work to be done right here in Orlando and there's workers ready to do it," Obama said at his previous speaking engagement.

The group said they were impressed by Obama's manners when he paid for their beers and nachos with cash -- including a nice tip.

Employees at the pub said they had no idea the visit was going to happen until they saw a flurry of secret service activity and watched the president come in.

After Obama's trip to the Celt, he attended a fundraiser at attorney John Morgan's Heathrow home before leaving Central Florida.

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