Campaigning for Gov. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Monday, former President Clinton ripped into Republican businessman John Raese, telling supporters at a Manchin rally that Raese is "trying to stop the voters of West Virginia from thinking."
The former president served as lead attack dog for Manchin Monday, slamming Raese's recent campaign ads and referencing the controversy over a casting call for a GOP-sponsored spot that called for actors with a "hicky" appearance.
Clinton didn't reference Raese by name, but warned West Virginia voters: "Don't let this guy play you."
"If people in this state weren't hurting and frustrated and angry, [Manchin would be] ahead by 30 points and you know it," the former president said.
"I don't blame anybody for being mad," Clinton continued. "But I'm old enough to know that when you make a decision when you're mad … there's about an 80 percent chance you'll make a mistake."
Manchin finds himself on the verge of being labeled the underdog in a Senate contest where he was supposed to cruise to victory this fall. Raese's persistent attacks tying Manchin to Obama and the Democratic leadership in Washington have eroded the popular governor's edge in the race.
The latest Rasmussen poll in the contest gives Raese a six-point edge over Manchin.
For his part, Manchin continued to push back hard against Raese on Monday. The governor again distanced himself from Obama, telling supporters that when it comes to healthcare, he wants to go to Washington and "repeal part of that bill."
"You're running against Joe Manchin, you're not running against Barack Obama," the governor warned Raese.
He also tried to keep the controversy sparked by the National Republican Senatorial Committee ad alive, telling supporters the language in the casting call for the spot "went through me like a knife."
Both the former president and Manchin implored Democrats to get out and vote this fall, with Clinton plugging early voting in the state, which starts Wednesday.