President Barack Obama visited Wisconsin Monday to endorse Wisconsin democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett during a five-state, three-day fundraising tour.
Obama attended a $250-a-plate fundraising luncheon at U.S. Cellular Field for the Wisconsin Democratic Party and its gubernatorial candidate Barrett.
In his endorsement, Obama pointed to Barrett’s character, referencing the incident last year where the mayor was attacked trying to help a woman outside of the Wisconsin state fair as an example of Barrett’s strength.
“That’s the kind of act you don’t hear about every day. He stepped in, tried to help and sustained serious injuries. That’s what counts as a leader,” Obama said. “That’s a person who will fight for you each and every day.”
Gov. Jim Doyle, his wife Jessica, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., attended the event.
In anticipation of the president’s visit to the state, Republican candidate for governor Mark Neumann dropped off a copy of his book– a detailed plan on how to reduce spending and debt in Wisconsin, at Barrett’s Milwaukee office Monday morning and asked him to deliver it to the president during his visit.
“Mr. President, endless spending and growing debt is destroying our nation. Please consider the approach I’ve laid out to cut spending and reduce taxes,” Neumann said in a note accompanying the copy of his book, “Wisconsin Taxpayers First”.
Also in opposition to the president’s policies, Wisconsin GOP-endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker held a rally Monday afternoon during Obama’s visit in protest of the president and Gov. Doyle’s plans for a high speed rail system in Wisconsin.
The Obama administration has awarded $810 million to Wisconsin for the construction of a high-speed rail line connecting Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.
“The people of Wisconsin hope the president’s visit will prompt a change of heart about how their hard earned money should be spent,” Walker said in a statement.
Obama also made a stop at ZBB Energy Corp. in Menomonee Falls, a producer of renewable power systems such as high-tech batteries, wind turbines and solar panels.
The visit to the plant provided the president with the opportunity to discuss his administration’s commitments to clean energy solutions.
“What we’ve been trying to do…is to jumpstart a homegrown, clean energy industry, building on the good work of your governor and others in this state. That’s why I’m here today,” Obama said to a crowd of a few hundred people, according to the White House.
The company received a $14.7 million tax credit as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act earlier this year, larger than all other tax credits of the $35 million awarded to Wisconsin in total in 2010.
His administration’s commitment to clean energy should create 800,000 jobs by 2012, according to Obama.