March 25th, 2009
12:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama lends a hand to New York congressional candidate

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Obama endorsed Scott Murphy on Wednesday, less than a week before the special election."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the first time since taking office, President Obama is spending some political capital to get another Democrat elected.

On Wednesday, Obama e-mailed New York Democrats endorsing Scott Murphy, the venture capitalist who is running in the special election to fill the seat in New York's 20th congressional district that was vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand when she was appointed to the U.S. Senate in January.

Murphy's Republican opponent is New York Assemblyman Jim Tedisco. The special election is scheduled for next Tuesday. Though the Democratic and Republican campaign committees in the House of Representatives have pumped resources into the race, the president has so far kept his distance.

In the e-mail, Obama calls Murphy an "ally for change" and cites his support for the economic stimulus bill that the president signed in February, a piece of legislation that has become a hot-button issue in the race.

"Scott has the kind of experience and background we desperately need right now in Washington," Obama said in the message, which was sent to nearly 60,000 upstate New Yorkers on the e-mail lists of the Democratic National Committee and "Organizing for America," Obama's political organization.

"He's created jobs by building and growing small businesses while bringing people together to address difficult challenges," Obama said of Murphy.

In addition to the president's support, the DNC is donating $5,000 to Murphy's campaign, the legal maximum the committee can transfer.

"I could not be more honored and humbled to have the President's support," Murphy said in a statement. "I look forward to working with the President as well as Democrats and Republicans in Washington to implement his recovery package, help create jobs Upstate, and ultimately get our economy back on track."

Obama's foray into the race raises the stakes of the already tightly-contested election.

If Murphy comes up short, Republicans will argue that the loss represents as a referendum on the president and his policies. But a Murphy victory would mean yet another electoral failure for the GOP, which will be forced to re-group and hope for the best in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections this November.

Filed under: Jim Tedisco • President Obama • Scott Murphy
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Spencer/Newport News, VA

    I hope Mr. Murphy adopts President Obama's campaign blueprint of reaching out to voters via the internet. The GOP is trying to get tech-savvy, but it was us whoo started it. Good luck Mr. Murphy.

    March 25, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Truth Bomb Thrower

    Ooooooo. B.O. is spamming for his fellow democrats. He really lays it all on the line, doesn't he?

    An email is hardly an expenditure of political capital.
    99% of recipients only make it half way through the subject line before deleting.

    March 25, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. kae

    To differ in opioion about a policy is one thing, but to say you want our President ,and by extension our country, is quite another and goes beyobnd the limits of free speech. Anyone who publically promotes the failure of our country and our President, especially in such critical times, should be arrested and tried for treason!

    March 25, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Karen - Missouri

    I think it's good for Obama to endorse Murphy. And the Republican remarks are just plain stupidity. They keep on with their witch childish! It's time to get rid of the Republicans in Congress for awhile anyway. They don't do any constructive work...just witch hunts and whining.

    March 25, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. kae

    Sorry, my comment seems garbled..too angry to type I guess.
    I meant to say...To differ in opioion about a policy is one thing, but to say you want our President ,and by extension our country, to fail is quite another and goes beyond the limits of free speech. Anyone who publically promotes the failure of our country and our President, especially in such critical times, should be arrested and tried for treason!

    March 25, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Lori

    Good job Mr. President. I hope Mr. Murphy wins! We need to get rid of the Republicans with their ZERO ideas and solutions!

    March 25, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Brian Crooks

    @ Truth Bomb Thrower: If he flew to NY to campaign he would be accused of not spending enough time in DC working on the issues. I don't know where you come up with your figures, but people who are on Obama's mailing list (like myself and many of my friends and relatives) actually read the emails he and his staff send us. They give us useful information like where to get together for campaign events and expand on his platform, policies, and the progress of many of his most important plans. Give it up, if you feign outrage at everything he does, you'll end up sounding like the boy who cried wolf before you know it.

    March 25, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Fitz in Texas

    Obmam says, "Scott has the kind of experience we desperately need right now in Washington."

    Here, I sort of agree with Obama because Obama has no experience at all and needs all the help he can get.

    Did Scott pay his taxes?..................ok ok, I know, I should have let the tax statement go, but I must admit, I do wonder about that everytime Obama picks someone because he seems to pick and hire tax cheats.

    March 25, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Nita Gonzalaez

    I must admit that I agree with most of the above comments. It's a shame that we have people with such small minds in the GOP area. Someone must speak up about their changing into a group that listens, suggest and disagree but with intelligent not childreness. Limgaugh is a prime example of someone using his voice to distract and

    March 25, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    To my neighbors of the 20th District, I ask you to reject the two major parties and look for real change, real conservative values look for Eric Sundwall on your ballots, support the person who has lived his entire life serving your community. Unlike Mr. Murphy who flew in from out of state to represent the people of the 20th district, how many weeks has he lived in NY? Eric has been there everyday. And where is Mr. Tedisco from NYC? Vote for a representative of the people, by the people and FOR the people of the 20th district.

    March 25, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. MVP

    Fitz in Texas March 25th, 2009 12:53 pm ET
    I told you to wait ...they called you today re the job cleaning Toilets at McDonald's

    March 25, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Jack from West Virginia

    If he can bring back jobs in upstate NY that would be a first in a long time. I thought Hillery said she had created jobs and brought back jobs only to find out she had them outsourced to other countries. I have lived upstate and there is nothing up there but unemployment, poverty and not to mention trying to pay for all those taxes. If you can bring jobs in how about being a bit more specific, where, what types.

    March 25, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Peter E

    Back to politics as usual. GWB spent his entire first four years campaigning and fundraising for his fellow republicans, and so will Obama. That's the non-change you can believe in!

    March 25, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    #44 will cause th edemocrats to loose in 2010 , 2012 &2016

    March 25, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    what is pres. Obama doing? trying to turn the U.S.A. into a socialist country ?

    March 25, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Greg, Brattleboro, VT

    Folk! He is the PRESIDENT of the United States of America, whether you like it or not. That page of the American history will never be deleted.
    Just words like the noisy frog in a puddle of water Wruuuuh wruuuh!!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |