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Thursday, August 28, 2008

 11:20 AM 

Doyle says young voters are over race issue

Gov. Jim Doyle said the impact of race on this presidential election is an "interesting generational issue," and that it might be a factor in some voters minds.

But, he said, those who would vote against Barack Obama because he is black aren't Dem voters.

"Most people who would make that judgment based on race were never going to vote for a Democrat anyway," he said this morning during a conference call from Denver.

Doyle said younger voters are less likely to hold those attitudes. Obama's campaign has been about getting past the race issue, and that mirrors younger voters feelings about it, he said.

"For older people that may be an issue. For younger people it's just totally not an issue," Doyle said.

Doyle said he's confident that with a strong voter turnout, Obama will win in Wisconsin. He also ripped Republicans for what he said are campaign tactics to discourage voting, "Karl Rove kind of stuff," as he termed it.

He said Republicans have employed the tactics to great effect in winning elections, but have found that dividing the country makes it difficult to govern.

Obama's acceptance speech tonight will include his plan to bring the troops out of Iraq "in a way that is responsible," his plan for an energy rebate and to invest in renewable energy, and making higher education more affordable, Doyle said.

When Obama made a stop in Eau Claire Sunday, Doyle said he and Obama had an opportunity during some quiet time to talk about the speech.

"He made it very clear that there would be some great emotion to it obviously on the 45th annivesary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech," Doyle said.

"I have never seen Barack Obama not rise to the occasion, so I think we are going to see a really remarkable speech tonight," Doyle said.

The governor said despite the 67-21 split of Wisconsin delegate votes for Obama and Clinton, the state party is fully unified behind Obama. He praised the Clintons for their "spectacular" speeches in support of Obama.

"If the story line much of the media looking at coming into this was that this party is divided. clearly everybody honestly looking at what happened in this convention has to complete that story line by saying that this party is coming out incredibly unified," Doyle said.

Doyle appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program this morning. He said he normally catches it when he's exercising in the morning, and called it "the best political show."

He also commented on being a punchline in David Letterman's "Top 10 List" this week. Doyle said his son sent him the clip.

"I don't know if it's good or bad. Nobody laughed -- nobody kind of understood the joke and nobody even laughed at it. So I'm not sure why I got singled out, but I did."

-- By Greg Bump

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