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National Democrats Back-off from Wisconsin Recall

• May 15, 2012 11:32 am

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Deputy Obama campaign director Stephanie Cutter did not know if the DNC would commit money to the Wisconsin recall election, in a Tuesday interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.

Cutter dodged Todd's questions about Wisconsin, suggesting that the Obama campaign is trying to create distance between itself and the troubled campaign of Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett.

TODD: The last time you were on the show we talked about the Wisconsin recall. I’d asked whether the president would be supportive, if the party was going to be supportive. You said that it's possible. Obviously there’s a stake, that you "have stake in the election; we believe that the governor has penalized working families across the state, so it's possible. We certainly want to see a good outcome there." This is the idea of the DNC helping out. Wisconsin state party says the DNC has not ponied up any money. You guys control the DNC. The Obama campaign and DNC are one in the same. Are you going to pony up money to the recall election in Wisconsin?

CUTTER: I don't know the answer to that question, on the money. But I do know that we have committed to help with GOTV efforts, with activating OFA on the ground and doing basically everything we can to bring the Democrat over the finish line. We are vested in this race.

TODD: But you haven't made a commitment yet of a significant—

CUTTER: I don't know the answer to that question, Chuck.

Cutter's reluctance comes on the heels of reports of tension between Wisconsin Democrats and the national campaign. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent reported Monday that Wisconsin Democratic leaders are "furious with the national party" for not pledging big money in the recall election.

New polling released Monday gives Gov. Scott Walker a nine-point advantage over Barrett, the top Democratic challenger. In the We Ask America poll, 52 percent of likely voters supported Walker, while Barrett carried 43 percent in the poll; five percent of voters said they were undecided.