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#44s wild: Hank Aaron goes to bat for Obama

September 22, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • President Obama speaks during a campaign stop at the Summerfest Grounds at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee.
President Obama speaks during a campaign stop at the Summerfest Grounds… (Morry Gash / Associated…)

MILWAUKEE -- President Obama got a plug from baseball great Hank Aaron, who asked fans Saturday afternoon in his former home of Milwaukee to help the president “hit a grand slam.”

Aaron, a native of Alabama during segregation, told the crowd that it was Milwaukee that first made him feel at home, when he moved here to play for the Braves. And he asked them to rally around the 44th president of the U.S.

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“Here in the state of Wisconsin, I found respect, acceptance, appreciation for my talent,” Aaron said.

“I am humbled and honored to share this stage with number 44,” said Aaron, who once wore that number on his jersey. “And with all our help, he can continue to move our country forward.”

Meanwhile, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul D. Ryan, a native of Wisconsin, took a couple of shots at Obama as the president traveled to the state. If Obama can't change Washington, Ryan said, voters should change presidents.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, decided not to meet the president at the airport, as governors often do.

But Obama campaign officials said they were happy with the president's entourage for the day.

"We'll take Hank Aaron over Gov. Walker any day of the week in our trip to Wisconsin," campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

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christi.parsons@latimes.com

Twitter: @cparsons

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