North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) won’t say if she asked the White House to keep President Obama away from her home state ahead of the midterm elections.

Hagan, who faces a tough reelection battle this fall, was asked in an interview with the Charlotte News and Observer if her campaign had told Obama not to visit North Carolina.

“He’s welcome to campaign in North Carolina anytime,” she responded.


Pressed again if she had told the president to stay away, Hagan again sidestepped the question.

“I think in this race Speaker Tillis is trying to make this about the president, and he is hammering that over and over,” Hagan said. “People in North Carolina need to realize this race is about who represents them in Washington. And I will stand forth every day and say that my voice is the one that needs to speak on behalf of North Carolinians.”

The president is expected to kick off his fall campaign schedule next week with a trip to Chicago, where he’ll stump on behalf of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. The White House has not said where else he will travel, although he’s expected to skip competitive states like North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska where he may be a liability.

Obama did visit North Carolina briefly last month for a speech at the American Legion, but spent only a few hours on the ground. Still, an image of Hagan greeting Obama on the tarmac has been featured in Republican attack ads.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest at the time dismissed concerns over the president would be a drag on Hagan.

“The president over the last two elections has outperformed expectations in North Carolina,” Earnest said