President Obama handed another useful sound bite to Republicans for the last few weeks of the campaign season, boasting today that Democrats running in states where he’s unpopular are still fervent supporters of his.
“A lot of the states that are contested this [fall] are states that I didn’t win,” the president said in an interview on Al Sharpton’s radio show. “And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turnout. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me — they have supported my agenda in Congress.”
“This isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me,” the president continued. “And I tell them, I said, you know what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up.”
A number of Democratic Senate candidates are running in red states that never voted for the president, or states where he’s now unpopular, such as Colorado and Iowa, and they haven’t, as the president said, been eager to have him join them on the campaign trail. Incumbent Democratic senators, even as they’ve tried to distance themselves from Obama, have also been hit with ads pointing out that they vote with the president’s position 90-plus percent of the time. Meanwhile, a number of Senate candidates, including Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes, have dodged questions about whether they even voted for the president in previous elections.
This isn’t the first time the president has yoked Democratic candidates to himself and his agenda: A couple weeks ago, he told an audience that voters should remember his “policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.”