Now that President Obama is campaigning for endangered Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello (Va.), Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should too, a top Republican said Friday.
Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE (Va.), the second-ranking House Republican, said that the freshman Virginia Democrat has voted in lockstep with the Obama administration, a choice he says will hurt Perriello among voters in the state's traditionally Republican 5th congressional district.
Cantor's comments came hours before Obama is set to headline a Charlottesville, Va., campaign event for Perriello, who backed the White House on several major legislative items over the past two years.
Perreillo's race has been one of the most closely watched House contests this cycle, and Obama's visit has thrust it further into the spotlight. Democrats hope that the president will drum up enthusiasm among voters that helped carry Perriello to a narrow victory in 2008.
Perriello voted for the stimulus, healthcare reform and cap-and-trade energy legislation, but voted against the financial regulatory reform bill, saying it did not go far enough. Unlike other endangered Democrats, Perriello has not shied away from his voting record, which contains votes for key Obama agenda items.
Republicans, however, are pouncing on the stop, saying that it shows the desperate position Democrats are in to hold on to control of the House and using it to tie Perriello to Obama and Pelosi, who are unpopular with the public.
"We are looking at [Obama's] visit as something that really brings into focus the real question in this race," Cantor said.
State Sen. Robert HurtRobert HurtThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — GOP faces ‘green wave’ in final stretch to the midterms Democrat defeats controversial chair of House Wall Street subpanel Republican groups launch final ad blitz in key House battlegrounds MORE, Perriello's Republican foe, called the visit a "Hail Mary pass in the hopes of energizing his base," though he predicted "it will have the effect of energizing our base."
The Democratic Party of Virginia criticized Cantor and Hurt in advance of the call and said GOP policies would damage the economy.
"Most of what you’ll hear from today’s conference is more of the same, which is fiting cause most of what’s offered by Cantor-Hurt Congress is more of the same policies already rejected by voters," the party said in a statement.
The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll, conducted a month ago, found Perriello trailing Hurt by just one point.