Barrett, Kathleen Falk and two other Democrats are vying for the party’s nomination to challenge Walker in a June 5 recall election.
Democrats want to oust Walker from office as payback for passing a law that stripped public workers of their union rights.
Wisconsin’s largest public unions are backing Falk. But Obey, a Democrat who represented northern Wisconsin in Congress for decades, says Barrett has the right temperament for united a divided state.
He also criticized the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for producing a video that incorrectly implies Barrett supported Walker’s union changes. The union has apologized for the video.