President Barack Obama used a Monday-evening TV interview to wrap his anchor chain tighter around the Democratic senators who are struggling to stay afloat in GOP-leaning states.
“These are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress,” the increasingly unpopular Obama told MSNBC anchor Al Sharpton in a Monday interview.
But Obama also said he’s already told the sinking senators he won’t object if they try to publicly and insincerely repudiate him.
“This isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me,” he said.
“I tell them, I said, ‘You know what, you do what you need to win,'” said Obama, who was likely referring to submerged Democratic candidates in the South —- Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas and Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.
Other Democrats, including Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Michelle Nunn in Georgia, are also being dragged down by Obama’s low poll ratings.
Republicans gleefully broadcast Obama’s statement.
“Oftentimes in politics, the truth is better off left unspoken,” said a statement from the Republican National Committee.
“So this is weird, but I think Barack Obama has become the most honest Democrat in America,” said a tweet from Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment and the former vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity.
So this is weird, but I think Barack Obama has become the most honest Democrat in America. https://t.co/JJOBxFPPco
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 20, 2014
“Thank you, Pres Obama, for saying such nice things about your loyal supporter Kay Hagan,” said Jordan Shaw, the campaign manager for her GOP rival, Thom Tillis.
— Jordan Shaw (@JordanP_Shaw) October 21, 2014
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) October 21, 2014
Pundits piled on.
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) October 20, 2014
In his interview, Obama also suggested he’ll lead from behind by raising money to fund TV-advertising and get-out-the-vote campaigns.
“I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up,” he said.
“Well, look, here’s the bottom line,” Obama told Sharpton, a former street radical whose reputation has never recovered form the 1991 Crown Heights pogrom, the 1987 Tawana Brawley affair or the Freddie’s Fashion mart shootings in 1995.
“We’ve got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn’t win” in the 2012 election, he said.
“So some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all 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 of rebuilding our infrastructure. They’re on the right side of early childhood education.”