Politics

Obama tweets his token support for Wisc. Democrat

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama sent Wisconsin Democrats a last minute good luck card, via tweet.

“It’s Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I’m standing by Tom Barrett. He’d make an outstanding governor. -bo,” Obama said in a 7:17 p.m. EDT tweet, which was posted post after the evening news reports.

Obama’s evening tweet minimizes the president’s association with the Wisconsin recall-election, which Republican Gov. Scott Walker seems set to win. Democrats sprung the recall election in the hope of reversing Walker’s successful state-wide reforms, including a revamp of the state’s collective bargaining practices.

Obama and his deputies have largely avoided the state Democrats’ efforts.

On Friday, he declined to touch down in the state, even though he flew over it while attending six fundraisers in Illinois and Minnesota.

On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney twice referred reporters to the state Democrats when he was asked about the president’s support for the Democratic candidate, Tom Barrett.

“The President endorsed Tom Barrett. … the president supports him, stands by him and if you talk to the [Barrett] campaign, I’m sure they can give you more details about how that support is manifested,” Carney said midday Monday.

Former President Bill Clinton visited the state June 1, but drew only a few hundred people to a small rally at the state house.

When he sent the tweet Monday evening, Obama was in New York, raising funds from wealthy finance-industry donors. He did not mention the Wisconsin race at his three fundraisers, but accused the GOP of radicalism and claimed they wanted to reverse the 1930s “New Deal.”

A GOP win in Wisconsin will likely energize Republican supporters — and reassure swing voters — in advance of Mitt Romney’s campaign in the state.

A Romney victory in Wisconsin in November would give him an extra 10 electoral votes, almost as much as Virginia’s 13 votes and one more vote than Colorado’s nine votes.

Former president George W. Bush lost the state by 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent in his two elections, and current polls show Obama averaging 49 percent support.

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