WH dodges controversy over Grimes vote
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The White House on Tuesday brushed aside the refusal of Democratic Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes to say if she voted for President Obama.


"I don’t know," press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday, declining to say whether Grimes’s stance served as an indictment of the president’s record. "I’ve seen some of the news reports about her campaign, but I don’t know. I mean, I’ll tell you that I voted for the president."

Headlines emerging from Monday night's Kentucky Senate debate were dominated by Grimes's continued refusal to answer questions about whether she voted for the president, despite an avalanche of criticism for similarly dodging the question in an interview with The Courier-Journal last week.

“This is a matter of principle," Grimes said. "Our Constitution grants here in Kentucky the constitutional right for privacy of the ballot box, for a secret ballot. You have that right, Senator McConnell has that right, every Kentuckian has that right. And as secretary of state, the chief election official, I’m tasked with overseeing and making sure we are enforcing all of our election laws.”

Earnest said Obama was not disappointed that Grimes and other vulnerable Democratic candidates had looked to distance themselves from the president ahead of the midterm elections.

"The president is pleased on the record that he has amassed in his ... almost six years in office," Earnest said, citing the economic recovery and implementation of his signature healthcare law.

Asked why, if the president had a strong case to make, Obama had so far avoided appearing at campaign events with any Democratic Senate candidates, Earnest said Obama "obviously has got a few things on his plate these days."

"But the president is looking forward to the opportunity to campaign with other candidates in advance of the midterms," he added.