Obama lends support to Thompson for Mayor

October 9, 2009 3:34:50 PM PDT
The White House says President Barack Obama has tremendous respect for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg but is supporting the Democrat running against him. There have been questions about why Obama hasn't been involved in helping the city's comptroller, William Thompson Jr., in his uphill battle to unseat the billionaire mayor.

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Thompson got a long-awaited - if passionless - answer Friday.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in response to a question that Obama is the leader of the Democratic party, "and as that, would support the Democratic nominee."

In his statement, Mr. Thompson said, "I am grateful and encouraged to receive the support of the president of the United States, especially on the day that Barack Obama is named a Nobel Prize Winner. It is a point of personal pride to receive this endorsement since I made my final decision to run for mayor of this great city while waiting on line to vote for President Obama. New Yorkers supported President Obama in historic numbers on November 4, 2008, and I look forward to that same support on November 3, 2009. I am deeply honored and thank our president for his support and confidence that I will be the next mayor of New York City."

Gibbs did not mention Thompson by name. He did note Obama's high regard for Bloomberg, who is not registered with any party but is running on the Republican and Independence Party lines.

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