White House reiterates support for Giannoulias amidst GOP attacks

The White House reiterated its support for Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias amidst GOP attacks on the candidate.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration supports Giannoulias, the Illinois state Treasurer, in his bid to win President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

"Alexi Giannoulias is the Democratic nominee for the Senate and has the backing of the White House," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in his daily press briefing.

Gibbs said he expected Giannoulias might talk to some administration officials on Tuesday while at the White House for a celebration of the Greek prime minister's visit to the U.S., though the press secretary downplayed the gravity that those discussions might have.

Republican campaign committees and operatives have pushed to see if the White House would continue to publicly stand behind Giannoulias, whose family's bank in Illinois has been struggling and may be forced to fold, though the family could gain millions in rebates.

Giannoulias is locked in a top-tier Senate race against Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) this fall, when Republicans are hopeful they can win the seat. Incumbent Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.), who was appointed to Obama's seat after the presidential election, is not seeking reelection.