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Dem Recruit Attacks GOP Congressman for Backing Obama

Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio, questions witnesses at the House Financial Services Committee hearing regarding Lehman Brothers and financial reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

November 30, 2011

Here's a telling sign of how much President Obama's fortunes have changed since 2008 -- a leading Democratic Congressional recruit is now attacking a Republican congressman for supporting the president.

From National Journal:

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Former Ohio Democratic congressman Charlie Wilson, who was attacked relentlessly for being too close with President Obama in last year's losing campaign, kicked off his comeback bid today by accusing his Republican rival of the same sin.

Wilson, who represented a rural, blue-collar district along the Ohio River, is seeking a rematch against freshman Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio.  In his successful 2010 campaign, Johnson effectively characterized Wilson as a lackey of national Democrats, blasting him for casting a critical vote for Obama's health care law and the stimulus.

So it's striking that Wilson is now trying to use that same tactic against Johnson, criticizing the congressman for supporting free trade agreements backed by President Obama.

"I am disappointed that Congressman Johnson supported President Obama's free trade agenda this year. These agreements will ship even more of our jobs overseas," Wilson told WTRF-TV.

Keep in mind that Johnson's district isn't overwhelmingly Republican, but it's the type of rural, blue-collar district where Obama has badly struggled lately.  Obama came within two points of defeating John McCain here in 2008, and Kerry performed similarly against George W. Bush in 2004. 

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