- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

As Democratic candidates across the country try to distance themselves from President Obama — even if statements from the president himself are making it a bit tricky — Mr. Obama can take comfort in the fact that he’s at least welcome in Oregon.

“Certainly, anytime the president would like to come to Oregon, I’d love to show him around and talk to the issues we have here,” Sen. Jeff Merkley, Oregon Democrat, said Tuesday on MSNBC. “It would be fine for him to come here. But there [are] far closer races in other parts of the country. I want the president to make the best use of his time.”

Mr. Merkley leads Republican challenger Monica Wehby by 13.5 points in the RealClearPolitics latest average of public polling on his own race.

Asked why Democrats have had a hard time coming up with a message resonating with voters, Mr. Merkley cited “national scare tactics” employed by Republicans in recent weeks involving the Islamic State terrorist group and Ebola.

He said Democrats have been focused on a “fair shot” agenda with items like efforts to repatriate overseas jobs and make college affordable that have been blocked by Republicans.

“If we’re focused on the fair shot for all Americans, I think it would be very clear that the Democrats would be winning hands down,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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