February 18th, 2010
12:55 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama comes under attack on western swing

President Obama travels to Denver, Colorado on Thursday.
President Obama travels to Denver, Colorado on Thursday.

Washington (CNN) - As President Obama heads west Thursday to help out two Democratic senators facing tough elections this year, a Republican senate candidate in Colorado scolds the president in a new campaign television commercial.

Obama travels to Denver, Colorado Thursday afternoon, where he'll be the headliner at two different fundraisers for Sen. Michael Bennet, who's running this November for a full term in office. But before he gets to the general election, Bennet first needs to successfully fend off a Democratic primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

Bennet was plucked out of political obscurity last year, when Gov. Bill Ritter named him to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, who stepped down to serve as Interior Secretary in the Obama Administration. Bennet leads Romanoff in the battle for campaign cash and Thursday's visit by Obama may help Bennet widen his fundraising margin.

As the president arrives in Colorado, former Lt. Governor Jane Norton, who appears to be the front-runner in the battle for the GOP senate nomination, launched an TV ad that accuses the president of "massive spending and debt" and urges Obama to "pledge to balance the budget or decline to seek re-election."

Colorado was a success story for the Democrats over the past decade, as they made major gains in federal and state elections, which culminated with Denver hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention and Obama winning the state in the presidential election.

But politically it appears the times have changed.

"What a difference a year makes," said Evan Tracey, president of Campaign Media Analysis Group and CNN's consultant on political advertising. "The Norton ad is the most direct so far that we've seen; however it's likely the first of many ads by Republicans who will try and use the president and his sagging poll numbers to nationalize the mid-term elections by attaching Obama to their races and opponents."

Ironically the political attack on Obama comes on the same day the president issued an executive order that formally creates a bipartisan fiscal commission, a first step to forcing difficult decisions needed to get the U.S. debt load under control.

Following the events for Sen. Bennet, the president travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he'll headline a fundraising dinner for the Democratic National Committee.

Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid team up at a town hall Friday on the economy where they'll take questions from citizens and business leaders. Obama will also visit the local chamber of commerce. The Nevada Democrat is battling this year for a fifth term in the Senate. While he's raised a large amount of campaign cash, polls of Nevada voters indicate that Reid faces a very tough re-election.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Michael Bennet • President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Mitch

    If only we asked Bush to pledge to capture Bin Lade or not run for re-election.

    If only we asked Republicans to say 'YES' to ANYTHING or not for reelection.

    If only we asked the the conservative movement to listen to someone elses ideas without screaming them down and stomping on them or not vote.

    Ah...nice to see a GOP candidate so far out of touch with reality...then again, he fits right into the mentality of the conservative movement....which is 'we are better than you even when we're dead wrong'.

    February 18, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    What else IS new??????????????????????????????????????????

    President Obama has been under attack since he took office!

    That's all the GOP has: attack, demean, say NO, obstruct, lie, hate, spew fear & division!

    Duh.

    February 18, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "pledge to balance the budget or decline to seek re-election."

    This lady is nuts. Decline to seek re-election? What's in her crack pipe. She must not keep up on current events or she would have seen that the President, by executive order, made a fiscal responsibility commission.

    February 18, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. John

    ...a Republican senate candidate in Colorado scolds the president...

    oh, the humanity....

    February 18, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. ART

    It appears that Jane Norton is as dumb as Sarah Palin or just suffering from amnesia

    February 18, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. EJW

    Oh brother!!! Palin is too dumb to realize she could never win. What an idiot–and so are her followers!!!

    February 18, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Alan

    similar to how the Republicans balanced the budget when they were in office and then voted against Pay-Go? Republicans are hypocrites.

    February 18, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Vigla

    Let's be frank. The mess we're in is due to policies in place between 2001 and 2008. To lambaste this President for doing all he can to help us, even with Republican obstructionism, it is clear that so called conservatives are not interested in the good of this nation. They are interested in obtaining power.

    To have to hear these bald faced liars on the right criticize when they have nothing positive to offer other than tax cuts to the rich (which costs money, by the way). The president smacked down Republicans few weeks ago not because he is a good speaker. It's because the policies he supports MAKE SENSE! To go back to Republicans at this point is pure lunacy.

    February 18, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Dave

    Too funny:
    "accuses the president of "massive spending and debt" "

    ACCUSES. It is not an accusation, it is pointing out a FACT.

    The Democrats are going to lose Colorado too.

    February 18, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. walleye

    I saw this commercial last night. Norton is the voice of HATE in Colorado and was a sore looser when she was beaten out in in the last election. Anyone who listens to her also tags along with the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. She is a hateful WITCH with a capital "B"

    February 18, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. joe kiloz

    Independents are seeing no jobs have been created in the private sector despite the $862 billion boondoggle. Unemployment is worse now than when BO took office, and his own people say these levels are with us for years. 17% unemployment is unacceptable.

    On the fiscal front, the deficit is at stratospheric proportions, while the rest of the world is perplexed by how we run shop. The Chinese have their finger on the "sell US Bonds" button and their economic circumnstances suggest they need to raise capital immediately.

    Mr. Obama does not have a vision nor a black and white plan for seriously attacking the deficit nor creating jobs in the private sector.

    Lets face it, he was elected because independents did not believe Sarah Palin was Presidential timber. We all made a mistake.

    February 18, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Victim of Republican Taliban

    The headline is very misleading CNN. Obama is always under attack by the Republicans in EVERY part of the country. So how is this any different in the West???

    February 18, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Duck Fallas

    Another right wing nut, like the lunatic terrorist in Texas. Are all you people murderous, America hating terrorists in Texas?

    February 18, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Mike in MN

    Republicans just have to tell it like it is and offer to cut spending, shrink the size of the federal govenrment, lay out a plan to reduse the deficit, and offer small government/market driven solutions to today's problems. Cutting spending will be a difficult task, but if they promise to do so, Republicans will retake both the House and Senate in 2010.
    Poll after poll after poll shows the voters of our center right nation have rejected Obama's liberal/progressive big government, tax and spend agenda. While Obama claims all his grand spending will lead to a prosperous future for Ameria, the projected deficits based on his plan, that are expected to average a trillion a year for the next decade and beyond, tell a different story of economic collapse.

    February 18, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Cynt

    Who in the hell is this Jane Norton? a formet Lt governor? LMAO. who is she to try and discredit the President? Ask this moron how much of the stimulus money colorado got, I bet she will shut the hell up about the President's so called wasteful spending. all these republicians keep shooting off their mouth about spending but they were the main ones begging for stimulus money, hyprocrites

    February 18, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Andy

    Obama is under attack everywhere,should have lived up to his promises or owned up to his failures.Americans are fairly forgiving people until you play them for fools and that is what he did and is doing.

    February 18, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Candi

    Is this news,his approval is dropping like a rock and he still is blowing smoke and hot air.

    February 18, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Publico

    I hope that the President will respond that before he makes any pledge, former Lt. Governor Jane Norton will pledge that she will become educated on where the present budget deficit originated.

    February 18, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. PEACE ON EARTH

    "Plucked out of obscurity one year ago." Sorrrrrry, NOT ENOUGH EXPERIENCE to make ANY STATEMENTS.

    Isn't that what the Republicans kept whining about with President Barack Obama?

    This person, Michael Bennet, has NO CREDIBILITY.

    February 18, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Grin and Bare It

    Obama visit equals a kiss of death for whomever he campaigns for. Keep on visiting every Dem and campaign for them. I know they will love to have you there. I know the American people do.

    February 18, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. richp the poconos

    Who is paying for that jet fuel, it better be Reid's casino buddies.

    February 18, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. inofritzn

    <– from CO and yes we got very fed up with Republicans like Bush, but we are WAY more fed up with these looney democrat children. We're an independent state and neither party should think they have a lock on us.

    February 18, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Mike

    CHANGE IS COMING...Yes we will send the demorats home come the elections of 2010 and especially 2012. NOW THERE IS HOPE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

    February 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. Russell

    Do you people see this , this is a lot of whites walking around our country thinking like this , has anyone ever told any other president to step down ....this is racism at it's finest , how about Jane Norton step down for treason ....totally disrespect for the offic e of POTUS , no wonder terrorist are trying to kill us , because of these types of whites.....,.,.bet you won't print this CNN , it's the truth .

    February 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. cindy ex-republican

    Politucally times have changed because the Republicans want to see Obama fail. I can't tell whether it is jealousy, hate, predujice or just trying to make him look bad at every turn. You can be sure if the POTUS did not meet so much oposition to every promise he has tried to keep and every improvement for us middle class people he has tried to initiate, our country would be starting to recover from the Bush era. That is not a way to do things Republicant's, you are not only hurting the POTUS but our Country and ME & MINE! STOP IT!

    February 18, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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