Candidate runs away from prez
ALBANY -- Democratic congressional hopeful David Weprin is trying to hide unpopular President Obama from the voters in this month's special election to succeed disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, The Post has learned.
In new literature distributed to voters in the Queens-Brooklyn district, Weprin is trumpeting endorsements by fellow Democrats from Gov. Cuomo to Brooklyn Beep Marty Markowitz -- but Obama is MIA.
A State Democratic Committee mailer lists endorsements of Weprin by Cuomo, Markowitz, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
Obama -- the titular head of the Democratic Party -- is nowhere to be found.
The Weprin campaign sought to downplay the candidate's decision to distance himself from Obama.
Weprin spokeswoman Elizabeth Kerr wouldn't say whether the candidate has sought or will seek Obama's endorsement, but said Weprin supports Obama.
"I think the president is a little busy," she said.
But with Obama's popularity in the Ninth Congressional District in Queens and Brooklyn sagging, Republican challenger Bob Turner is trying to make Obama the issue in the Sept. 13 special election.
"Mr. Weprin knows this race has turned into a referendum on President Obama, so he's trying to get as far away from this president as possible," said Turner's campaign spokesman, William O'Reilly.
"The term 'fair-weather friend' definitely comes to mind. The only problem is that Messrs. Weprin and Obama are joined at the hip ideologically."
At least one Democratic political consultant thinks Turner is on to something.
"The guy on the ballot isn't really David Weprin -- it's Barack Obama," Hank Sheinkopf said.
"New York Democrats know they have a problem, and they are trying to insulate David Weprin."
During a debate yesterday in Brooklyn, the biggest disagreement was over the proposed Ground Zero mosque.
Turner said the city should do everything possible to stop it, while Weprin accused him of exploiting the issue to stir up voters' emotions.
Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-to-1 in Weiner's old heavily Catholic and Jewish district. Yet in a recent Siena College poll, businessman Turner was within 6 points of the state Assemblyman and former councilman, who is Democratic and Jewish.