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In an effort to turn out Democratic voters in Georgia, President Barack Obama this week said a victory by Senate candidate Michelle Nunn will mean Democrats retain control of the Senate.
But Republicans have quickly pounced on the comments and say they are further proof that Democrats running away from the president will stand with him if elected.
“If Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate, and that means we can keep on doing some good work. So it is critically important to make sure that folks vote,” Obama told Atlanta urban radio station V-103.
But Republicans have used the interview as another way to tie a Democrat running in a conservative state to the president, whose popularity continues to sag in states with key Senate races.
“President Obama made it very clear: a vote for Michelle Nunn is a vote for the Obama Agenda,” Republican National Committee spokesman Rob Lockwood said.
In recent weeks, Republicans have similarly highlighted Obama’s remarks that Democrats who have distanced themselves from him “are all folks who vote with me” and that his “policies are on the ballot.” In ads and on the campaign trail, conservatives have used the comments to link their opponents to the an unpopular president.
The GOP needs to pick up six seats in the midterms to take back control of the Senate.
“The president is mindful of the electoral map…Even in a difficult environment like Georgia that a Democratic candidate might prevail, that might be an indication that Democtatic candidates in other races are fairing well, too,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said when asked about the president's comments Thursday.
-- Andrew Rafferty