00:27 - Source: CNN
Obama's foot-in-mouth midterm remarks

Story highlights

In Kentucky, Kansas and New Hampshire, GOP Senate candidates are playing up the President's quote.

The quote comes from a speech Obama gave in Chicago on Thursday.

Some Democrats in red states have tried to distance themselves from Obama.

Washington CNN —  

To Republicans, President Barack Obama is a gift that keeps on giving when it comes to campaign fodder to use against Democrats.

A line from Obama’s economic speech on Thursday is giving Republicans more material to continue slamming their opponents as Obama surrogates. That tactic has been key to Republicans’ midterm strategy this cycle, at a time when a majority of Americans – 52% according to the latest CNN/ORC poll – disapprove of the President’s job.

“I am not on the ballot this fall,” Obama said at Northwestern University on Thursday. “But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”

Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican nominee for Senate in Colorado, already played up the line during an interview Friday.

“Well I think the President himself yesterday stated that his policies are going to be on the ballot,” he said. “Those failed policies are what the people of Colorado are facing and voting on.”

And Republicans in three key states for control of the Senate have already jumped on those words in videos that made it online less than 24 hours after Obama spoke.


When it comes to Democratic candidates setting up a sharp divide with Obama, Kentucky candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has been one of the most visible, even pointing out in a recent ad, by saying “I’m not Barack Obama.”

But Sen. Mitch McConnell’s ad released Friday looks to paint a different picture:

“Alison Grimes says this election is not about her support for Barack Obama and his failed policies,” the ad’s narrator says, before playing the clip of Grimes stating she’s not the President.

“But Obama himself says a vote for Alison is a vote for his policies.”


Sen. Pat Roberts’ campaign also pounced on Obama’s comments – even giving its take on the national backdrop to the president’s policies.

“Trillions in new debt. Obamacare. Nearly 10 million Americans unemployed,” the Roberts’ ad’s narrator says.

The ad cuts to Obama’s quote from Thursday, and then ties him to independent candidate Greg Orman, painting him as a Democrat.

“A vote for Greg Orman is a vote for the Obama agenda,” flashes across the screen before the ad fades out.

New Hampshire

Republican Scott Brown’s campaign follows a similar formula in attacking Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“He’s not up for reelection, I know you’re shocked to hear that,” Brown quipped at a campaign event that opens his latest ad. “But his number one foot soldier Senator Shaheen is.”

The final words of the ad: “Send a message to Obama. Vote no on Shaheen.”