Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) issued a strongly worded statement Thursday in response to reports that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) met with President Barack Obama last week in Washington, D.C., to discuss the possibility of her running for his former Senate seat. Giannoulias announced his Senate campaign earlier this year, but national Democrats have gone to great efforts to woo Madigan to run because they believe her candidacy would clear the field and help the party avoid a vicious primary fight. Madigan’s meeting with Obama is particularly stinging to Giannoulias, who told Roll Call this month that Obama was “like a mentor to me,— and that they have been friends “for a long time.— In his statement Thursday, Giannoulias pointed out that Obama was not the choice of insiders when he ran for Senate in 2004. “Illinois has been ill-served by state party leaders who think they know better than voters,— he said. “Now more than ever, anyone who seeks this seat must convince voters they have the ideas that will get our economy on its feet and put our people back to work, not just prove that they have the political clout to demand a clear field and win appointment.—Madigan is once again considering running for Senate — an option she had previously ruled out in favor of a gubernatorial bid in 2010. Several other Democrats are already looking at the Senate race, including businessman Chris Kennedy, who is actively exploring a bid. Appointed Sen. Roland Burris (D) has not said yet if he will run for a full term.