Kilpatrick said he has decided not to attend the rally at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena next week to avoid having his ongoing legal problems burden the U.S. senator, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.
"I would love for Barack Obama, the next president of the United States, to have this opportunity free from all of the scrutiny that may come from a Kwame Kilpatrick moment," Kilpatrick said of Monday's rally. "So, no, I will not be there. It's my choice."
Kilpatrick's legal problems include allegations of perjury, obstruction of justice and conspiracy, which have resulted in a number of felony charges being filed against him.
Detroit political consultant Eric Foster said the mayor will undoubtedly be driven to campaign for Obama during the general election, but should be careful in such pursuits.
"Seeing them on stage together could help heighten the opportunity for the Fox Newses of the world and conservative right-wing radio shows and bloggers to really draw that line of: Too young, too soon," he told the Free Press.