President Obama said that while it’s difficult for some Democratic candidates running in states he didn’t carry to invite him to their states, they are nevertheless loyal allies and backers of his agenda in Congress.
“The bottom line is, though, these are folks who vote with me, they have supported my agenda in Congress, they are on the right side of minimum wage, they are on the right side of fair pay, they are on the right side side of rebuilding our infrastructure, they’re on the right side of early childhood education,” he told the Rev. Al Sharpton.
“So, this isn’t about my feelings being hurt,” he continued. “These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me, 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 out.’ “
The comment comes on the heels of Mr. Obama saying recently that while he’s not on the ballot in the fall, his policies are, and as many Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are trying to tie their opponents to the president.
Addressing the president’s remarks on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the original question posed was why supporters of the president should channel that support to Democratic candidates.
“The point that the president made is that he’s looking for partners in Congress who are supportive of [the] minimum wage, who are supportive of laws that ensure women get equal pay for equal work, that we’re investing in early childhood education, that we’re investing in our infrastructure, that’s good for our economy in the short term, good for the economy over the long term,” Mr. Earnest said.
“These are the kinds of policies that Democrats in Congress have stepped up to the plate to support,” he continued. “They don’t support those things because the president supports them — they support them because they’re the right thing to do, and the president is pleased to have partners in Congress who are willing to work with him to make progress on those issues, and the president’s hopeful that Democrats will turn out to do that.”
“Here’s the other thing — the Democrats in a lot of these states are going to be counting on Hispanics, African-Americans, young people, young women in particular, to turn out in midterm elections,” he said, noting Mr. Obama has a past track record of getting such groups to turn out in the presidential elections in 2008 and in 2012.
Mr. Earnest also said they applied lessons from the 2010 midterms, where Republicans romped to make historic gains in the U.S. House, in terms of organizing ahead of 2012 and on efforts to engage voters through technology.
“Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is to share those lessons learned, those best practices, with the individual campaigns,” he said, including access to volunteers.