White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that President Obama isn’t disappointed by vulnerable Democrats wanting him to keep his distance in tough election fights.
Obama travels to Bridgeport, Conn., today for a campaign rally with Gov. Dan Malloy, who’s locked in a tight re-election fight with GOP challenger Tom Foley.
Though Malloy is calling in Obama for help, some Senate candidates have not welcomed the president on the campaign trail or have released campaign ads distancing their policies from the administration, including Natalie Tennant in West Virginia, Mark Begich in Alaska, and Mark Pryor in Arkansas. Alison Lundergan Grimes, who just got her Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee support in Kentucky yanked, has refused to say whether she voted for Obama.
“The president is pleased on the record that he has amassed in his six years — almost six years in office,” Earnest said. “That from ensuring that we could recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression to putting in place the policies that were critical to the success and rebuilding and renaissance of the American auto industry, the president shepherded over the process that reformed our health care system in a way that is paying dividends for small businesses and middle-class families all across the country.”
“On the president’s watch, we’ve seen the greatest reform of our financial system since the Great Depression in a way that has significantly enhanced protections for consumers,” he continued. “So if you take a look at the president’s record, the president is pleased with the success that he has had on behalf of the American people and pursuing the kinds of values that he wants.”
“So since he has a strong case to make, is he disappointed he is not out there more?” a reporter asked.
“Well, the president obviously has got a few things on his plate these days, but the president is looking forward to the opportunity to campaign with other candidates in advance of the midterms,” Earnest replied.
Earnest also denied that the beginning of the Obamacare enrollment period was bumped to Nov. 15 to help out the president’s party in midterms.
“I know that you are a very keen observer of the political process in this country, as you should be, particularly when we have such an important election coming up,” he said. “But so many of the important policy decisions that are made in this administration and in this White House are driven by something other than politics. And so I’d refer you to the Department of Health and Human Services for deadlines they’re establishing.”