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Obama: Red State Dems Are "Strong Allies" of His

Obama: Red State Dems Are "Strong Allies" of His

By Adam O'Neal - October 21, 2014

Democratic Senate candidates in red states have gone to great lengths to distance themselves from President Obama and his position on several key issues -- in some cases, even refusing to acknowledge that they voted for him -- but the president made that effort slightly harder Monday night. 

“The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress,” Obama told the Rev. Al Sharpton, referring to Democratic candidates who have chosen not to campaign with the president. 

“This isn't about my feelings being hurt,” Obama continued. “These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. I tell them -- I said, ‘You do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.’” 

While Obama’s latest quote isn’t particularly revealing -- earlier this month he said that his “policies are on the ballot” -- the audio recording broadcast on Sharpton’s MSNBC program will almost certainly show up in attack ads during the closing days of the campaign: It’s one thing to have a Republican challenger make the argument that his opponent is a strong ally of Obama, but quite another for the president to confirm it. 

The president also noted that the Democratic candidates “are on the right side of” minimum wage, fair pay, rebuilding infrastructure, and early childhood education -- key issues that even red state Democrats typically don't break from their party on. 

He explained that it’s difficult for some Democrats “to have me in the state because Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turnout.”

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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