Democratic candidate Burke speaks with Obama

Mary Burke
Mary Burke
MADISON (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke isn't traveling to Waukesha to see President Barack Obama in person on Thursday, but she did speak with him by phone.

Burke's spokesman Joe Zepecki said the president called Burke on Wednesday morning. He says they discussed job creation strategies and the need to strengthen Wisconsin's middle class.

Zepecki says Burke shared concerns she's heard on the campaign trail, including the challenges faced by small businesses and trade policy.

Republicans have said Burke doesn't want to be seen with the president because a poll released Monday showed his approval rating had dropped to 44 percent in Wisconsin. Zepecki says Burke is committed to a day of campaigning in western Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker plans to greet Obama when he arrives, but leave after that.