O'Malley: Obama visit would have nationalized Wisconsin race
June 5th, 2012
05:24 PM ET
11 years ago

O'Malley: Obama visit would have nationalized Wisconsin race

(CNN) – The Wisconsin recall election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker has garnered national political attention, but the chairman of the Democratic Governor Association said Tuesday that if President Barack Obama had visited the state, he would have brought the race to yet another level of national scrutiny.

The President did not visit Wisconsin to campaign on behalf of his fellow Democrat, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, in the recall election held Tuesday. DGA chairman Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley O'Malley made the remarks in an interview for CNN's "John King, USA."

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"I think that the appearance of the president has the potential to nationalize a race that quite frankly should be about whether the people of Wisconsin are creating jobs and expanding opportunity again," O'Malley told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

The race has attracted high-profile surrogates from both sides of the aisle, including former President Bill Clinton, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

But Republicans have pointed to Obama's absence as a sign of weakness for the Democrats. Democrats have said that the president has been otherwise occupied, but does support Walker's challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. On Monday evening, Obama tweeted, "I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor."

The contest is seen by many political analysts as a dry run for the November presidential election, when the race is either a toss up or leaning towards Obama's favor.

Also see:

Barrett says Obama visit would have been distraction

Veep contenders in the spotlight this week

Biden to grads: Don't get cynical

Filed under: 2012 • Martin O'Malley • President Obama • Scott Walker • Tom Barrett • Wisconsin
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Levi

    As opposed to the millions and millions of dollars that came in from outside of Wisconsin and the constant coverage on CNN and other websites/stations?

    Good thing we stopped this from being nationalized....

    June 5, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Tom

    LOL...and what about when obama went to Mass to campaign for Martha Coakley- and lost??? or to NJ to campaign for criminal Jon Corzine- and lost???? Didn't obama talk about "union busting" going on in Wisconsin more than one year ago???

    Face it- Obama didn't go to Wisconsin because it would've yet another embarrassment for him...

    June 5, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    On Monday evening, Obama tweeted, "I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor."
    More like.... "I'm standing WAAAAAYY BEHIND Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor on the off chance he pulls off a miracle and I wish him good luck in his future endeavors, which most likely will NOT be Governor."

    Obama 2012 - It's Every Man for Himself

    June 5, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    and if Obama HAD of gone to Wisconsin and took sides the far right would have went on the attack saying this is NOT his affair and you guys know they would. Many times there is more power in being silent than opening your mouth and sticking your foot in it. Something it appears many on the right have not learned yet.

    June 5, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. jony

    Here's yet another spin by the liberals, the truth is Obama didn't see a Democrat win and he isn't about to stick his neck out for anyone

    June 5, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. cashmeremafia

    Actually, Barrett wasn't the union's preferred candidate; he even admitted this in one of the televsied debates.

    June 5, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Hammerer

    Barrett needs help not more hindrance.

    June 5, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Steven Colo

    "The contest is seen by many political analysts as a dry run for the November presidential election, when the race is either a toss up or leaning towards Obama's favor. "

    CNN, I understand the first half of that sentence but not the last half. Why does it depend on it not favoring Romney?

    June 5, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. California

    It's nationalized anyways and Obama and the democrats are attached to it. They don't have to like it. I actually take pleasure in knowing they don't like it.

    June 5, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Bonnie

    If Romoney wins, 4 years of failure is for certain.

    June 5, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    There is only one reason Obama or Romney don't do something – it will hurt their campaign.
    There is only one reason Obama or Romney do something – it will help their campaign.
    It's not to do the right thing or justice or support or even glory. It's business. Just like the mob.

    Vote 3rd Party! Kick the bums out!

    June 5, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Carlos

    If Walker wins, Wiscousinites have to remember that fheir governor has been bought and paid for by interests outside their state. So who will run Wiscousin now? Surely not the people of their state.

    June 5, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Patrick

    If after 3 1/2 years in office you have to worry about going to support someone being a net negative for them, it doesn't bode well for your future prospects. Obama's problem is that he won't be able to distance himself from himself no matter how much he loves playing the blame game.

    June 5, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Alex

    I dont get it. Republicans are always crying about keeping state affairs seperate. Obama doesnt step foot in Wisconsin, and Republicans make a big deal about it. Why would he? The latest poll has him up by 8 points over Romney.

    June 5, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. CBR

    The President made the correct decision. The people of Wisconsin need to vote based on their own information. This election has become a lightning rod. The Republicans have pumped millions of dollars of advertising into the state. Outside money should never determine a state election but the Republicans have decided this election is a preview of the Presidential election.

    If this is how the Republicans will do thing on a national level then those who want to see a fair election based on the issues had best start complaining and start saying enough of this nonsense. This PAC money will ruin this country because it is impossible for any candidate to raise the funding in amounts equal to these PACS. Governor Romney does not object to the formation of these PACs and is very happy to have them run ads for him. Perhaps this is Romney's jobs program – build up the PACs and the advertising agencies. This is a shameful practice and the money spent could be used to feed, house and cloth Americans who are jobless and maybe even homeless.

    June 5, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. Nameobumma

    Can't stand another mass. This close to November. What a front running, so and so

    June 5, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. Alden Rosbrook

    The Koch Brothers set Walker up to be their poster boy for Union Busting in the public sector and for the Tea Party right wing extremists to use as fodder for their cause. Under President Obama our Government has shrunk by large amounts and the Wisconsin Unions agreed to fall back on most of their monitory gains from the past let alone any for this future. This is indeed a national effort by the extreme right wing Republicans to further this Union Busting throughout the USA and to further the decline of the middle class take home pay which will turn out to the 1% in the butttt.

    June 5, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Huh?

    More national scrutiny??? Reports of money from outside the state; union workers bussed in from out of state; daily news coverage and all-night news coverage tonight from national TV, cable and radio. What's left to scrutinize???

    O'Malley is just another Democrat hack politician trying to provide cover for Obama who got flack from both parties either way.

    In the end, Obama decided he would rather "lead from behind" then if the recall wins, claim credit; if the recall fails, blame Bush.

    June 5, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Sanity

    I believe this is the 101st liberal excuse for why Walker will win.

    June 5, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. wade

    Former President Clinton seems to undercut Obama's policies again, saying all Bush-era tax cuts should be extended for now, including those on top earners, to pave the way for a long-term deal. Clinton stabs Obama in the BACK AGAIN!

    June 5, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  21. Get up and going

    Just another example of Obama's leadership. When he's needed, he gives a speech (or Tweet in this case) and then becomes useless = leadership from behind....

    Too bad for Barrett, too bad for the democratic party

    June 5, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. Maggie

    OWEMalley should be happy that the citizens of Maryland can't recall him. He is the poorest excuse for a Governor. His motto "Tax and Spend" "Tax and Spend" "Tax and Spend" "Tax and Spend". Let's see how many people and businesses we can force to move out of MD.

    June 5, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. ducky

    Walker is doing what he said wah wah state workers deal with it I'll take your job any day and I have enough experience to take it an how many other people can too !

    June 5, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    Actually I'm just as glad Obama stayed out of it. It's a Wisconsin fight and all the so-called "national figures" parachuting in on both sides really didn't add anything to the debate. They probably just confused it (which I assume was always the Republicans' intention). The only one worth a darn is Bill Clinton, and the only thing he said worth saying was, "Go vote." Which we are, in record numbers. Turns out we didn't need Obama after all. We *are* the ones that we have been waiting for 🙂

    June 5, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. Don

    "Obama 2012 – It's Every Man for Himself"

    ha ha..that's funny I would quickly make a bumper sticker and start selling millions if I were you.

    June 5, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
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