President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDems punch back over GOP holdup of Biden SBA nominee Biden congratulates Trudeau for winning third term as Canadian prime minister Republicans have moral and financial reasons to oppose raising the debt ceiling MORE was in Missouri Thursday to help Democrats raise money but Republicans claimed his visit helped them even more.
The president attended two fundraisers for Senate candidate Robin Carnahan (D) in Kansas City. The campaign dropped the ticket prices for one, billed as a "grassroots reception," earlier Thursday in an attempt to boost attendance. The $250 tickets dropped to $99, while $35 tickets dropped to $17, according to the Kansas City Star. Attendees had to cough up to $1,000 a ticket for the second fundraiser in downtown Kansas City.
Carnahan, who is in a close race with Rep. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMissouri official asks court to suspend McCloskeys' law licenses GOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate MORE (R-Mo.), welcomed the president in an embrace that carries as much political risk as it does financial reward.
For his part, the president kept up the sharply partisan tone he has employed on the trail of late, again slamming Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE's (R-Ohio) recent comments, and lumping Blunt in along with them.
"Sometimes I wonder if that no button is just stuck in Congress so they can't do what's right for the American people," Obama said. "The theory is if I lose, then they win. That's just old brand politics. It just takes us back."
At a congressional hearing last month, Barton called the White House's deal with BP to establish a $20 billion victim's compensation fund a "shakedown." And last week, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE compared provisions of the financial reform bill to killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.
The president said Carnahan was "not going to Washington to represent the oil industry or the insurance industry ... or Wall Street," adding she would not even go there exclusively to represent his agenda.
Carnahan painted her race as a choice between someone who has stood up for families versus someone who has stood up for corporate interests.
And even as she stood next to the president, Carnahan sought to distance herself from Washington, telling supporters Obama understands that "the best way to begin fixing Washington was to elect people who were not caught up in the culture of Washington."
It was a stark change from Obama's last visit to the state in March, when he was there to raise money for state Democrats. Carnahan was in Washington, D.C. at the time and Republicans gleefully charged her with ducking the commander-in-chief.
Republicans are anxious to tie Carnahan to the president and Thursday's events give them that chance for the fall. Obama's approval ratting in the state is under 50 percent and key parts of his legislative agenda are deeply unpopular there. He lost the state to Republican John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden steps onto global stage with high-stakes UN speech Biden falters in pledge to strengthen US alliances 20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance MORE in 2008 by less than a point.
"I believe he's helping me more than her," Blunt said of the president's visit on a conference call with reporters Thursday morning.