Obama campaign downplays importance of Wisconsin recall on November

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President Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, downplayed Wednesday the impact that the upcoming Wisconsin recall election might have on the presidential race in the fall.

”This is a gubernatorial race with a guy who was recalled and a challenger trying get him out of office. It has nothing to do with President Obama at the top of the ticket and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Mitt Romney at the top of the Republican ticket,” said Cutter on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.”

{mosads}She rejected the notion that the results of the upcoming election, aimed at unseating Gov. Scott Walker (R), will be indicative of Obama’s reelection prospects.

“There may be some that will predict that it means doom for us in Wisconsin in the fall elections, but I think they’ll be proven wrong,” Cutter added.

Walker has led his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, in most recent polls ahead of the June 5 election, which has captured the national political spotlight.

Cutter also defended the president’s role in trying to defeat Walker, after Obama received criticism for not doing enough to help Wisconsin Democrats.

“I think that people on the ground are looking at the significant resources that we are putting into that race,” Cutter said.

Cutter pointed to on-the-ground organizational support, providing Obama for America resources and raising money for Walker’s rival as the ways in which the Obama team is influencing the recall effort.

The Obama campaign released a statement endorsing Barrett immediately after his primary victory two weeks ago, but the president has not spoken publicly about the race, nor has he visited the state to campaign for Walker’s Democratic rival.

”If you think that the secret weapon here is sending President Obama, then I’m pleased that you believe that, but I think that actually having people organizing and volunteering and turning out the vote and doing everything they can that actually effect an election is more powerful,” Cutter added.

Top union officials lashed out last week at Washington Democrats, claiming they haven’t done enough to help them defeat the governor, specifically the Democratic National Committee’s decision not to give the state party money.

International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger acknowledged the DNC’s help on the ground but said a major cash investment would have been worth a lot more.

Schaitberger credited Obama for being “fairly clear in his position on Wisconsin and the recall election,” but expressed frustration that there hadn’t been more focus on what he views as a crucial test heading into the fall elections.

“I think this is a national campaign,” Schaitberger said. “Wisconsin is another important test to establish the tone and mood of what is to come in November.”

Cutter told MSNBC that she believes the Barrett campaign is “pleased” with the involvement of the DNC and the Obama campaign.


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