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Posted at 3:59 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Va. parties draw battles lines around Wisconsin

By Anita Kumar and Ben Pershing

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) waded into Wisconsin's budget battle, sending out a recorded video and a tweet in support of Gov. Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor.

"Please support my good friend Governor Scott Walker as he leads the fight to cut spending and get Wisconsin's fiscal house in order,'' McDonnell tweeted. "Leadership like his is long overdue!"

McDonnell, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and his fellow GOP governors campaigned for Walker in the closing days of the 2010 election.

"I know it's tough to tell hardworking state employees they've got to do more with less," McDonnell said. "I've done it in Virginia, and Scott Walker has had the fortitude early in his term to tell that to the people of Wisconsin."

Watch the video here:

McDonnell wasn't the only Virginian to enter into the Wisconsin controversy in recent days.

Timothy M. Kaine -- the former governor, current Democratic National Committee chairman and possible future Senate candidate -- also got involved in the Badger State drama, and Republicans were quick to pounce on him for it.

As The Washington Post reported, President Obama's political operation, Organizing for America, has been helping to gin up support for protesters in Madison this week after Kaine spoke to union officials there. That drew notice back in Virginia, where Republican operatives are preparing for the possibility that Kaine will jump into the race to succeed Sen. James Webb (D).

The National Republican Senatorial Committee added this example to a list of what it calls Kaine's "cheerleading moments" for Obama.

"If Virginians want to see whose water Tim Kaine will be carrying if he's elected to the U.S. Senate, they should look no further than his antics in Wisconsin this week, where Kaine is putting the wishes of Washington labor union bosses ahead of common-sense fiscal reforms," NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said.

The Republican Party of Virginia also got in on the act, accusing Kaine of moving "far to the left."

"Chairman Kaine's actions further emphasize just who's in the driver's seat over at the DNC and the Democratic Party of Virginia -- Big Labor," RPV Chairman Pat Mullins said.

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan said Republicans were deliberately blowing the extent of Kaine's involvement out or proportion.

"This is a grass-roots story, not a Washington one," Sevugan said. "Our volunteers in Wisconsin were getting involved and asked us to let others in the state know what was happening. Our role in this is being exaggerated by others to distract attention from the passionate grass-roots activism that is being displayed on the ground in Wisconsin."

By Anita Kumar and Ben Pershing  | February 18, 2011; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Ben Pershing, Robert F. McDonnell, Timothy M. Kaine  
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