Feb. 24 2010 12:00 AM

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has touted that he visited with White House officials in Washington before his announcing a run for governor — but over the weekend, it was claimed by an unlikely entity that Bernero’s campaign would get the support of Barack Obama.

The Michigan Republican Party, as reported over the weekend by columnist Susan Demas on MLive.com, says that the president will back Bernero. Bernero, rightly so, considers the prediction “false praise” and an attempt to lampoon him. “I’m still waiting on a letter or call from the president — I don’t have that yet,” he said.

A Feb. 11 Rasmussen poll — two days after Bernero officially announced that he would run — of declared and likely gubernatorial candidates is not very favorable toward Bernero. The poll had Bernero losing to Republican candidates Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Attorney General Mike Cox, and U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, by anywhere from six to 13 percentage points, if the mayor were the chosen Democratic candidate. Bernero did better than state Rep. Alma Wheeler-Smith, D-Ypsilanti, but worse than Speaker of the House Andy Dillon, D-Redford, who is considering a run.

Bernero will appear today at noon at a networking luncheon hosted by the Greater Lansing Business Monthly at the East Lansing Marriott. He was invited to a gubernatorial forum set for today hosted by the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, but the mayor said that he wasn’t sure whether he’d be able to make it. A few other upcoming appearances on the campaign trail include a forum held by the Gratiot Avenue Business Association, which covers an area between Eastpointe and Chesterfield Township in the Detroit Area, on March 24, as reported by the Macomb Daily. According to various social networking sites, Bernero will also speak on March 31 at Central Michigan University, where his daughter, Virginia, is a freshman.