Controversy swirls over Obama visit to N.Y.

President Barack Obama's visit Monday to upstate New York was overshadowed by reports over the weekend that White House officials had asked Gov. David Paterson to bow out of the race for governor in 2010.

The president's visit to a college in Troy, near Albany, came a day after Washington Democrats purportedly sent a message to Paterson to drop out of the race.

During his speech at Hudson Valley Community College, the president called Paterson "a wonderful man" during his introduction, which did little to temper the controversy.

Obama aides insist the president isn't interfering with New York politics. Before Obama landed, spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn't answer directly when asked whether the president ordered that word be sent to Paterson that he does not want him to seek re-election.

AP wire services were used in this report.

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