President Barack Obama “might not make it helpful” with independent voters for appointed Sen. Michael Bennet by appearing in person with the candidate in Colorado, so the symbolic head of the Democratic Party phoned in an appearance in secret–not alerting media ahead of time:
President Obama chatted live with 20,000 Michael Bennet foot soldiers Thursday, thanking them for their work and asking them to “spend the next five days getting out there hitting the streets for Michael.”
“This race is just so close and you can win it for Michael and for other great campaigns like John Salazar, Ed Perlmutter and Betsy Markey,” Obama said in the live tele-town hall with Bennet Thursday night. “Don’t wait til Nov. 3 to a Sen. Ken Buck and say, ‘Gosh I wish I would have knocked on one more door’ … This is the time we have to put in maximum effort.”
The phone call — unannounced to press unlike the last time Obama held a live chat with Coloradans in the waning days of the Democratic primary — is noteworthy because Bennet has worked to distance himself from Obama since his Aug. 10 victory. During the primary, Obama visited Denver for a Bennet fundraiser and rally and made calls on Bennet’s behalf to Democrats.
Battle ‘10 obtained the exclusive audio of President Obama’s call to Bennet’s supporters:
Obama discussed the difficulties of the economy–inherited, of course–but praised Bennet for his votes on health care, financial regulatory reform (“no more bailout”), stimulus spending, energy intitiatives, and education.
Obama mentioned the $13 trillion deficit and the “tough calls” that need to be made–even as Bennet decried the same $13 trillion debt as having “nothing to show for it.”
He closed by referencing the convention in Denver where he was nominated in 2008, and exhorted Bennet’s supporters to put in a final push for one of the “best public servants” in the country.