President Obama's frequent critiques of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) have nothing to do with the upcoming election, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.

"No, this is about policy. This is about policy and the fact that Sen. McConnell's the Republican leader," Carney said at the daily press briefing. The Obama spokesman was asked if the president's attacks were an indication of support for Kentucky's Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell's likely opponent in the 2014 midterm election.

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Obama has mentioned McConnell twice in speeches this week, though not by name. In one, he questioned the viability of McConnell's repeated goal of repealing ObamaCare; in another, he suggested McConnell was disingenuous in refusing to answer a question about ObamaCare's benefits.

In a rocky rollout, Kentucky has been one bright spot for the law, where, according to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, more than 69,000 people have signed up for insurance under the law.

Beshear was on Capitol Hill on Thursday to tout the law's successes in his state. He suggested that McConnell's criticism of the law would cost the senator his seat.

McConnell is a top Democratic target heading into his reelection fight. The Senate minority leader also faces a conservative primary challenge.