President Obama recorded a radio ad for Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) ahead of his Aug. 9 primary election.

In the 60-second ad released Wednesday by Abercrombie's campaign, Obama says Abercrombie is like "Ohana," the Hawaiian word for family. And he praises the governor's record on the budget and education.

"He knew my parents before I was a twinkle in their eye," Obama says. "He was one of the first people anywhere to step up and support me for president."

Polls have shown Abercrombie in a competitive race against state Sen. David Ige (D). Even if the governor wins the Democratic primary, he could face a challenging general election campaign.

Despite an image in decline nationally, Obama remains very popular in Hawaii, where he grew up.

The president has also waded into the contested Democratic U.S. Senate primary on behalf of Sen. Bran Schatz (D), another early backer of his 2008 campaign for president. Schatz's opponent, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D), backed Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008.