U.S. Rep. John Barrow has extended tepid support to the man Republicans are portraying as his Siamese twin.
The Augusta lawmaker said Tuesday through a spokesman that he’ll vote to re-elect fellow Democrat Barack Obama president.
On Nov. 6, Barrow likely will face state Rep. Lee Anderson, of Grovetown, who apparently won the Aug. 21 GOP primary runoff in the 12th Congressional District.
Augusta businessman Rick Allen wants a recount, but trails by 154 votes – probably too many for the outcome to change.
Barrow hadn’t said before Tuesday whether he would back Obama, and, although he’s a delegate, he’s skipping next week’s Democratic convention. Obama is due to be renominated at the Charlotte, N.C., gathering.
“Mr. Barrow will vote for the top of the ticket,” spokesman Richard Carbo said in a prepared statement that didn’t mention Obama by name.
Seeking a fifth term, Barrow long has vacillated between supporting Obama and keeping his distance.
Recent boundary changes tilted the 12th toward the GOP and undermined Barrow’s political base. He moved to Augusta after his previous hometown, Democrat-leaning Savannah, was lopped from the 12th.
In 2008, Obama lost in what’s the new 12th by about the same double-digit margin he carried the old one.
Carbo cited an independent compilation showing that his boss voted with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., 54 percent of the time.
“After ... being one of the most independent members of Congress,” Carbo said, “he’s made it clear that he won’t be a rubber stamp for this or any other president.
“Partisan politicians like Lee Anderson want to come to Congress and make devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and John Barrow won’t let that happen.”
Carbo was referring to a controversial budget proposal by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Just as Republicans have tried to pin Obama on Barrow, Barrow’s sought to link Anderson to Ryan.
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney recently chose Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.
Barrow recently pressed Anderson and Allen – unsuccessfully – for their stands on the Ryan budget plan.
Carbo said Barrow will work with Republicans, Democrats and “anyone” if it produces results and “helps Georgia.”
Anderson spokesman Ryan Mahoney countered that Barrow is “incapable of giving a straight answer.”
“While John Barrow continues to spit election-year rhetoric,” Mahoney said, “Georgians continue to suffer from the liberal policies of the Barrow/Obama agenda.
“The BarrowBama shuffle has got to end. The people of Georgia’s 12th District are sick of Barrow’s empty political rhetoric and campaign spin.”
Unlike Barrow, Mahoney said, Anderson is “more concerned about America’s future than his own political career, and ... values the truth more than political expediency.”
Neither Allen nor anyone from his campaign responded Tuesday to requests for comment.