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October 23, 2012

Senator Warner skips Springsteen rally for debt talk. No, really.

Virginia's Mark Warner, a co-founder of the so-called Gang of Six, can't stop talking about the nation's looming fiscal crisis.

But we didn't really know how much the U.S. senator likes to talk about the debt and defict until today.

Warner gave up a chance to hang out with rocker Bruce Springsteen at a campaign rally for President Obama this afternoon to speak at the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in New York. He was joined by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, the other founder of the Gang of Six (now Gang of Eight), which is working to find a bipartisan solution to the nation's fiscal problems.

Warner tells us he was disappointed (he was not only asked to introduce The Boss, but spend the afternoon with him) but that he couldn't skip the speech.

The topic?

"A rare opportunity to gain insight into Congress' last effort to avert a drop off the Fiscal Cliff and the future competitiveness of America."

That sure beats Born to Run.

Warner, a popular former governor, serves as a top Obama surrogate in the swing state of Virginia where the president and Republican Mitt Romney are essentially tied. He has appeared with Obama at rallies in several parts of the state and plans to introduce him Thursday in Richmond. He also just recorded a radio ad for him.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine will appear with Springsteen in the college town of Charlottesville, where the singer is perfoming tonight.

Springsteen appeared with Obama in Cleveland in 2008, the weekend before the election, drawing 80,000 people.  He campaigned for Obama in Ohio and Iowa last week and anyone who has been to an Obama rally recently knows "We Take Care of Our Own'' is practically the campaign theme song.

"Bruce Springsteen’s values echo what the president and vice president stand for: hard work, fairness, integrity,” Jim Messina, Obama campaign manager, said in a statement last week. "His appearances will help with our get  out the vote effort in these critical swing states and we are thrilled with his ongoing support."


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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