- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

President Obama is not to blame for what ails Democrats at the polls — that’s the word from White House press secretary Josh Earnest to vulnerable candidates who are fleeing the commander-in-chief’s presence.

“The success of many of these Democratic candidates will depend on their own success in motivating voters that strongly supported the president in 2012,” Mr. Earnest said. “Ultimately, those Democratic candidates will have to develop their own strategies in their states for figuring out how exactly to do that.”

Mr. Earnest said that ultimately, Democrats need to take responsibility for their own campaigns and stop suggesting that Mr. Obama’s dwindling popularity with the American voters are translating into anger at the polls for the whole party.

“There are people running in red states that have a strong track record,” he said. “So it should be their decision. It’s ultimately their campaign. It’s their name that’s on the ballot.”

Mr. Earnest made the statements after Mr. Obama noted on a recent interview on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show that although some Democrats have hesitated to have him on the campaign trail, they have nonetheless voted with him on Capitol Hill. Mr. Obama’s comment touched off a firestorm among Republicans who then used it to show how unpopular the president had become.

Mr. Earnest did admit that Mr. Obama will field “his fair share of the blame” if Democrats — as widely predicted — lose the Senate this November. But he said the president could actually boost Democrats’ chances of winning, especially with the minority groups.

“Democrats who are running in red states, blue states and in so-called purple states are going to need the strong support of those voters who supported the president in his re-election campaign, that they’re going to need the support of young voters and Hispanic voters and Asian voters,” Mr. Earnest said.

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