Updated 1:32 p.m. ET, 1/15/2014
(CNN) - In what may be a sign to come for the midterm elections, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who faces a tough re-election battle this year, stayed far away from President Barack Obama's visit to her home state on Wednesday.
And Republicans didn't let the snub go unnoticed.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers, released a new web video Wednesday, labeling Hagan and Obama as best friends because of their support for the Affordable Care Act.
The ad blasts Hagan for repeating what's been dubbed Obama's "lie of the year": the President's broken pledge that if people liked their health care insurance, they'd be able to keep it under Obamacare.
"While her buddy Barack is in North Carolina, she's back in Washington, hiding out," the narrator says.
Obama traveled to North Carolina to highlight his administration's steps to bolster the manufacturing sector.
But with the President's approval rating dipping in recent months amid the bungled launch of HealthCare.gov, it's not a big surprise that a vulnerable Democrat in a Republican leaning state would want to keep her distance.
Hagan's office said the senator decided to stay in Washington because the Senate is in session on Wednesday. Responding to the web video from Americans for Prosperity, Hagan's campaign communications director, Sadie Weiner, called it "another political attack from a shadowy outside group that has no accountability to North Carolinians."
"Just like she’s always been, Kay is focused on doing her job today," Weiner said, adding her work this week includes "voting on a bill to avoid a government shutdown, and attending an Armed Services Committee briefing on Iraq and Syria."
At the top of his speech Wednesday, Obama acknowledged lawmakers who attended the event, including Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
"Your Senator, Kay Hagan, couldn't be here, but I wanted to thank her publicly for the great work she's doing," Obama said.
While Hagan publicly distanced herself from the rollout of Obama's signature health care legislation, she has taken up his call for extending emergency unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless.
Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, another Democrat up for re-election this year in a red state, also declined to attend a visit by Obama to her state in November, though she still hitched a ride aboard Air Force One with the President to Louisiana that same day.
And while Hagan told a newspaper last year she would "be honored" to have Obama campaign for her in 2014, Republicans argue Hagan is now backpedaling.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee blasted out an email Wednesday saying they "understand why Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu are avoiding the President at all costs."
Their problem, the email continued, "is that they own the unpopular agenda, making it impossible to distance from it no matter how much hide and seek they play with the President."
Another GOP group, the Republican National Committee, sent out an email Wednesday with the subject line "Where's Kay?"
The RNC pointed out that the President is scheduled to meet with the Senate Democratic Caucus Wednesday night at the White House, indicating Hagan may be among the attendees.
"Hagan isn't too busy to meet with Obama where her constituents won't see," the email stated.
North Carolina was one of two states that supported Obama in his first presidential bid, but turned red in 2012. The state has nonetheless been a favorite stop for Obama over the past five years. He's paid particular attention to the state's Research Triangle, a reliably Democratic enclave.
CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.