President Obama is up on the air with a radio ad supporting Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, and her primary backers at the Service Employees International Union are now up with a response.
"I'm a strong supporter of President Obama," one person says in the ad. "But I'm voting for Bill Halter," says another, in succession.
Interestingly enough, the SEIU ad directly contradicts Obama on numerous points.
Obama says Lincon is "leading the fight to hold Wall Street accountable and make sure that Arkansas taxpayers are never again asked to bail out Wall Street bankers"; SEIU's ad says Lincoln "voted to bail out Wall Street." Obama says Lincoln is "standing on the side of workers who've lost their jobs in this recession"; SEIU's ad says Lincoln "turned her back on the middle class." Obama says that "on health care, Blanche took on big insurance companies by voting to end discrimination against Arkansans with preexisting conditions"; SEIU's ad says Lincoln "refused to take on the big insurance companies" even though she "says she supported health reform."
SEIU spent tens of millions of dollars helping Obama get elected in 2008, and it's considered one of Obama's most prominent backers on the left. But the union has backed Lt. Gov Bill Halter in a primary challenge to Lincoln in 2010, after years of frustration with Lincoln for her failure to come out in support of the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make it easier for workers to form unions and a top legislative priority of the labor movement for years.