National Republicans are using the relaunch of the White House’s political office to highlight the liability President Obama might be this cycle for vulnerable House Democrats.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is hitting 24 Democrats and Democratic House candidates running in tough races with a new attack, shared first with The Hill, calling on them to sign a letter urging President Obama to come campaign for them.
“ObamaCare is now the law of the land. Washington spent $1 trillion on the federal stimulus. And the Keystone Pipeline will never see the light of day,” the letter reads.
“Still, voters in my district just don’t seem to get it.”
The letter goes on: “But with news that the White House is relaunching its political office, I’m hoping you can help me out in advance of the 2014 election.
“I would be thrilled if you would visit my district so that we can campaign together side-by-side. There is nothing that would be more helpful to my campaign.”
It includes a blank line for the targeted Democrat to sign their names.
The attack targets Democratic incumbents in red districts, like Reps. Nick Rahall (W.Va.) and John Barrow (Ga.), as well as those in tougher swing districts, like Reps. Ron Barber (Ariz.) and Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.).
And it hits a handful of Democratic candidates running in top-targeted races, like Staci Appel, running for retiring Rep. Tom Latham’s (R-Iowa) seat, and Sean Eldridge, challenging Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.).
The White House’s political office relaunched last month with the goal of coordinating the president’s messaging and scheduling with the party’s midterm goals of keeping the Senate and expanding their number in the House, if not retaking the majority.
While House Democrats insist the majority’s still on the table, the party privately admits the prospects for picking up the 17 seats they need are growing ever dimmer as persistent discontent with ObamaCare and the political realities of a midterm election cause a drag on vulnerable Democrats.
And though Obama benefitted many downballot candidates in 2012 by boosting turnout and rallying Democratic support and funds toward a select few for whom he campaigned or fundraised, he looks to be more a liability for Democrats this time around.
This cycle, many of the party’s top races in both the Senate and the House are in seats and states where Obama remains unpopular. Republicans are doing all they can to make the president a problem for some of those Democrats, including launching tongue-in-cheek attacks like this one pointing to the fact that many Democrats would likely avoid Obama on the campaign trail.
Andrea Bozek, the NRCC's communications director, took on that tongue-in-cheek tone in the release that included the mock letter to vulnerable Democrats on the White House's political office.
“Since the White House is gearing up for the 2014 election, Ron Barber should take advantage and request the president come campaign with him,” she said in one release.
“After all, Democrats have said they’ll campaign on ObamaCare — why not campaign with President Obama himself? If Barber is proud of his support for Obama’s policies, he’ll sign the letter and proudly campaign arm-in-arm with the president.”