Burke passes on public appearance with Obama - again
August 28th, 2014
12:44 PM ET
3 weeks ago

Burke passes on public appearance with Obama - again

(CNN) – Mary Burke, Wisconsin's Democratic nominee for governor, will not appear in public with Barack Obama when the President travels to Milwaukee on Monday to mark Labor Day in the key 2014 battleground state.

The President and Burke are both scheduled to attend Milwaukee's annual "Laborfest" celebration, a gathering of union activists that play a critical organizing role in Democratic politics.

"Mary Burke has been scheduled to attend Laborfest in Milwaukee for weeks," Burke communications director Joe Zepecki told CNN in a written statement. But because “the President's Monday visit to Milwaukee is for an official White House event and not a campaign event, her participation in the public portion of events would not be appropriate.”

Zepecki noted, however, that Burke will meet privately with Obama during the President's visit, and "hopes to have him back in Wisconsin for a campaign event before Election Day."

Obama’s Labor Day stop has been widely publicized by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The President’s appearance with the Democratic gubernatorial nominee is notable in light of the fact that Burke also declined to appear with Obama the last time the President traveled to Wisconsin. With Obama's approval ratings sagging, his value to other Democrats on the campaign trail in swing states this year has been called into question.

The President does, however, continue to play a vital fundraising role for Democratic candidates nationwide.

Walker's campaign press secretary Alleigh Marré said "Burke can offer up excuses and try to hide from President Obama and his rotten approval ratings, but she can't hide from the fact that her and the president's failed economic policies are one and the same."

Burke is currently locked in a tight race with incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Forty-nine percent of likely voters support Burke compared to 47% for Walker, according to an August 21-24 Marquette Law School poll. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, which means the two candidates are locked in a statistical dead heat.

"I've known from the start that this is going to be a really tough race," Burke told CNN affiliate WTMJ. "The numbers are improving slightly among likely voters, and that was good to see. It confirms what I hear as travel around the state."

Walker, a conservative star and potential 2016 White House contender if he wins re-election this year, has been fending off allegations of wrongdoing throughout most of his term.

While the Marquette poll was in the field, new revelations emerged that Walker may have illegally coordinated with outside groups in a 2012 Democratic-led attempt to recall him from office.

CNN's Sean Kennedy contributed to this report.


Filed under: Mary Burke • President Obama • Wisconsin
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This coward will lose. Too bad, Walker needs to be defeated!

    August 28, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    -nothing wrong here. Yes, pres. Obama has lot of clout. Yes, his ACA Law is saving millions and working now. This is the same mistake Al Gore did, not using Pres. Clinton. Later realized, no one cared Monica.

    August 28, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    She's scared ishless. Coward.

    August 28, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. You Got It

    As a native of Wisconsin, I'm voting for Walker again – don't believe the media hype: Walker has done more good for Wisconsin in the last couple of years than Barrett or Burke could ever do with their ties to big Labor.
    Walker did the right thing in restricting collective bargaining – the Unions need to GO!!! All they do is add cost, spend lobby money, and hold American workers back. Unions were a necessity in the days before OSHA, but not so much today; they are a legacy of the past.

    August 28, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Lily

    I once thought she is a clever woman, BUT it looks like she is not. How can she avoid the President? Any contender who behaves this way ,must be left alone and fumble on her/his own. It is really disgusting.

    August 28, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. CALIFORNIA

    Who can blame her.

    August 28, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. ProudDem

    To all these folks who say unions need to go....you really need to understand that strong unions were the only reason we had the mythic "good times" with a strong middle class that the GOP often laments us losing. Sure there have been union excesses, but you have to take these to their logical conclusion....with no collective bargaining wages will continue the drop, the 1% will keep getting richer and the income gap will widen. It's basic economics.

    August 28, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Radioactive Obama

    Burke passes on public appearance with Obama – again
    ---

    But he's SO, SO popular according to all the lefties in here!!! The only people allowing him near them are doing it in private, with no cameras allowed. But Obamacare is SO, SO popular!! Where is all the love?

    Democrats are going down big time this November. All of their the lies and failures are finally catching up with them.

    August 28, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Sniffin and Guggling OTaint in Tampa

    Even after CNN posted a story on how Obama's push to use Executive power for his Amnesty Agenda would badly damage the Democrat party, what does Obama do... Issue another statement that he will push his Amnesty Agenda without Congressional approval.
    It is unfortunate that Obama is willing to sacrifice so many for criminals who broke US immigration law.

    Fore-ward!!!

    August 28, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. it must be said

    The President does, however, continue to play a vital fundraising role for Democratic candidates nationwide.
    --

    Yes, we know. It is his only job. He's an absentee President. And the bill for these hundreds of fund raising trips is being sent to the taxpayers. Over FOUR HUNDRED campaign fundraisers!! A total abuse of the privilege. It has now reached the level of theft on a massive scale.

    August 28, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Grow up already...

    Not sure this a very good move, Mary... That being said, I'll still vote for you over Snott Walker. He's a Koch Bro puppet as evidenced by his phone call and has been the most divisive governor we had as per his "divide and conquer" comments. Drummed out of college for cheating, he's been doing so ever since (see John Doe.) But of course there's the 250k jobs he asked everyone to hold him to when elected, but won't deliver on, the kick the can down the road budget shortfall and the pay to play business kickbacks. Feel free to vote for the snake, You Lost It, but don't try to tell everyone how good he's been for Wisconsin when the facts say otherwise...

    August 28, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. not so dumbed down

    Explain how unions hold workers back, I'm interested in hearing that justification, or are unions holding back the rich from taking advantage of you. Again, not rocket science, union participation is voluntary by both sides. And with the Koch brothers in charge, your life will be easy, you will be told who to vote for.

    August 28, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Bill

    Can you blame her.

    August 28, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Smart lady!

    She can see the emperor has no clothes. Who in their right mind would want to stand next to that kind of disaster!

    August 28, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Meh... every dem in a competitive race is doing the same thing. Pretty wie move on their part.

    August 28, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    She's currently statistically tied with Walker during a mid-term year, which in a fact that heavily favors GOPers/Teatrolls. She's actually doing it right.

    August 28, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. not so dumbed down

    Scott walker gets to break rules with impunity, nice that's only fair .hey how is it you think your states doing so good, I read it was 38th in job creation, and the rest isn't any better, feel sorry for people who reject information they don't like, and then complain about the same subject.

    August 28, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Unions were a necessity in the days before OSHA, but not so much today; they are a legacy of the past."

    Same things as saying "That umbrella was a necessity when I was getting wet, but now that I have one over my head and it's keeping me dry, I obviously no longer need it."

    August 28, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. excuse my rant

    You Got It
    As a native of Wisconsin, I'm voting for Walker again – don't believe the media hype: Walker has done more good for Wisconsin in the last couple of years than Barrett or Burke could ever do with their ties to big Labor.
    Walker did the right thing in restricting collective bargaining – the Unions need to GO!!! All they do is add cost, spend lobby money, and hold American workers back. Unions were a necessity in the days before OSHA, but not so much today; they are a legacy of the past.
    ___________________
    Then what do you have to say about the efforts of Republicans to reduce OSHA's budget and "reign them in" for their "job killing regulations"? On the one hand they say Unions are no good anymore because of the government entities in place to protect the workers, and on the other hand they try to get rid of those very same government entities because they restrict businesses.

    August 28, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Sniffin

    She is obviously a racist.

    August 28, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Dumbas[R]ocks

    This is Burke's Al Gore moment.

    Yeh, that's "smart lady" now isn't it?

    Walker is on the run. If the WI electorate would get its head out of the FoxNews anal meeting house, Burke would pull a landslide. Such stupidity, to watch Walker FAIL repeatedly and then consider re-electing him, is RARE in the general population.....but it is a badge of honor in the Teatard Party

    August 28, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. RandyIA

    Key word. "WERE"

    ProudDem

    To all these folks who say unions need to go....you really need to understand that strong unions WERE the only reason we had the mythic "good times" with a strong middle class that the GOP often laments us losing. Sure there have been union excesses, but you have to take these to their logical conclusion....with no collective bargaining wages will continue the drop, the 1% will keep getting richer and the income gap will widen. It's basic economics.

    August 28, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Really??

    She needs to keep Obama far away from here if she wants a slim shot to win. Health Insurance increases due to Obamacare this year are going to drag the Economy, as well as his approval ratings, further into the toilet. If he gives amnesty all the illegals flooding our borders then the silent majority will no longer be silent. With the Middle East burning and his inability to "Community Organize" a fix shows his incompetence and inexperience in such matters. He is a disaster and any serious Democrat will Lie like a rug to try and convince their constituents they weren't his puppets. Unfortunately for them the American public is not as stupid as Obama. That's what Dems get for selling cheap goods and you get for buying a president from an infomercial.

    August 28, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Ironically, the Dems who avoided President Obama in 2010 & 12 are the ONLY Dems who didn't win the offices they were running for.

    August 28, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Lisa P

    I think Mary Burke is making a mistake here but I find her reasoning interesting, given who she is running against. It's not like Governor Walker has exactly drawn a line between his official public office and his political campaigns - in fact it appears that he's more than happy to use the privileges of one to hide the other. Odd that Mary Burke would be so scrupulous about the difference where President Obama is concerned. I'm also wondering how Monday's appearance will qualify as an official White House event. A major policy announcement, perhaps?

    August 28, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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