Russ Feingold, the former Wisconsin Democratic senator who is attempting to regain the seat he lost to Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010, received the endorsement of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday.
“Russ is an honest, independent-minded public servant who's not driven by what's politically expedient; he's driven by what he knows is right for the people of Wisconsin,” Obama said in a statement.
Critics pounced on the endorsement, saying that it shows Feingold will advance the failed policies of Obama if he were to win back his old Senate seat. On numerous occasions, Feingold has gone as far to say that Obama will be remembered as one of the greatest presidents in history.
“Former senator Feingold scored an endorsement from someone he believes is ‘one of our greatest presidents' today, but rest assured it wasn't George Washington or Abraham Lincoln,” said Amelia Chassé, press secretary of the America Rising PAC.
“Sen. Feingold's pick for ‘greatest president’ is President Obama, the architect of the Obamacare disaster and policy failures across the globe. Senator Feingold has made it clear to Wisconsin voters facing rising health care costs and heightened national security threats that he’d push through an even more extreme liberal agenda and feckless foreign policy than President Obama has.”
Feingold and Obama’s relationship dates back to the U.S. Senate, where they worked together on campaign finance reform by pushing for stricter ethics legislation that included a requirement to disclose lobbyist bundlers.
Despite the push at the time, Feingold appears to have backed away from his once held anti-lobbyist beliefs, as he has collected more than $260,000 in bundled lobbyist contributions this election cycle to date.