February 16th, 2010
03:34 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama becomes issue in Connecticut Senate race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/16/art.blumenthal.file.gi.jpg caption="Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is running for Senate in Connecticut."](CNN) - The frontrunners for the Republican Senate nomination in Connecticut are pouncing on the Democratic frontrunner, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, for hedging on whether he plans to invite President Obama to campaign with him.

Blumenthal, who jumped into the race after Sen. Chris Dodd announced he will not seek another term, was asked about a possible Obama appearance after speaking Monday to the Yale College Democrats in New Haven.

Chatting with reporters, Blumenthal called Obama "someone who I deeply respect and admire," but said he has differences with the president, according to the Associated Press. Blumenthal said he has not decided whether to ask the president to campaign for him.

"I haven't presumed to ask," he said, according to the AP. "I don't know whether he would and I don't know whether we would ask. At this point it is an open question."

Blumenthal's GOP opponents, former Rep. Rob Simmons and former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, circulated the comments to reporters and said the Democrat is eager to distance himself from an unpopular president.

"After decades of toeing the party line and supporting liberal policies, Richard Blumenthal's new found independence shows, like other Democrats, he knows his party's tax and spend agenda has failed to deliver and voters will be looking for change in November," Simmons spokesman Raj Shah said in an e-mail to CNN. "They will have a choice between Blumenthal's election-year rhetoric or Rob Simmons proven record of fighting for lower taxes, less government and a strong national defense."

And this, from McMahon spokesman Ed Patru: "The messages Linda has been driving in this campaign as an outsider are resonating and catching fire with voters, so it should be no surprise that Dick Blumenthal is parroting her messages and distancing himself from his party."

Blumenthal held a commanding lead in hypothetical match-ups against Simmons and McMahon in a Quinnipiac poll from mid-January.

Filed under: 2010 • Connecticut
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Orange Curtain, CA

    Typical Republican hypocrites. Praise Obama and ask for bi-partisanship cooperation, then bite the hand that feeds them with stimulus projects.

    February 16, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Glenn Koons

    Conn. voters risked getting Dodd out, then he leaves the race. Bloomie jumps in and for some reason, this leftist clone of Dodd gets huge approval rates. Why? He is just another tax and spending Dem who is just a simple leftist. If Simmons cannot win, then at least the voters should realize that Blumenthal is just a lefty who will continue to help bankrupt Conn. as well as this nation. Why Conn. voters would want that is beyond me.

    February 16, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. blah blah blah

    "Less government and strong on defense." What is the largest part of our government? THE MILITARY!!! There is so much more waste in the military than in public education or medicare. Why is there so much waste? Because conservatives like this pounce on anyone who wants an efficiently run military for being "weak on defense".

    February 16, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    American Politics DOES Suck! When will these fakes ever see that it is only in COOPERATION that we will ever solve our crushing problems as a species? And then America blindly goes on in her collective stupidity!

    February 16, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. c spurgeon

    Cmonj you really impressed me when you were on Morning Joe shyow, don't blow it by acting stupid now. Show respect for our president.

    February 16, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    I hope these hypocritical republicans bring in Bush and Cheney to help get that conservative message out.

    February 16, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. annie against biased news

    Oh, go ahead and ask obama to campaign for you – it will guarantee a Republican win!

    February 16, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Better than Tele-Promp-Ter....

    Better than tele-promp-ter when giving press conferences, Pres Obama prefers of late to give one-on-one media interviews ..campaign style with prearranged questions and answers..! Does this mode of communication serve to inform the people...?

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::We think not;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    February 16, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Republicans never say how they are going to get to smaller govenment, but we all know they will cut all education programs so everybody in American can be stupid and vote for them. Only stupid and fear mongering people vote for Republicans. So if you cut education, Republicans will have all the stupid people they ned to win back Congress. Republicans hate government, but love working for govenment and received all the perks like Health Care for LIFE!

    February 16, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. HypocriCNN/FOX Nuisense Are Antichrists Of News!

    If Only Linda McMahon Spent Half Her Political Life Taking Ownership For The Often Questionable, And Dispicable Practices With The Lives Of Some Of Her Former Wrestling Employees.

    February 16, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Stacie

    Unlike the Republicans who want to have some crazy "purity test" to see if candidates fit into their narrow definition of a Republican, Democrats welcome differences of opinion. This is what this great country should expect from it's government officials. People who are respectful, who still think for themselves, and who don't assume others will run to their rescue. I like Attorney General Blumenthal even more now!

    February 16, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. felicia

    He should stomp for hisself, President Obama don't need another blue eyed crooked devil working under him know way.

    February 16, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. James

    Haaaaa! Obama is unpopular now? What an easy to forget nation, so this dude wanna play smart too. Wow, those CT hedge funds are really up to something.

    February 16, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Ms. DO

    The United States is headed for self destruction with the republicans rulings; under Bush administration the country rocked bottom and now the people who don't understand life just been born want to go back to doom days! self destruction is on its way if you support the republicans!! (ignorance)

    February 16, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. ICARE

    First of all, ELEPHANTS DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT, to voice their opinions until 10 years from NOW.

    They didnt do a good job the last 8 years, what makes you all think they are going to fix everything...??

    February 16, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Sue

    This is hilarious............Now the Dems don't even want Obama to come and campaign for them!!!!

    I wonder why???? Could it be that every place that Obama has showed up to campaign for the Dem candidate, the Dem lost????

    February 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Orange Curtain, CA

    Please CT for the love of mankind, replace Lieberman next time he is up for re-election.

    February 16, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    Republicans Pounce

    Please say it ain't so.

    February 16, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Jon

    Ask, ask, ask, please! Obama has appeared with three major demo candidates in recent VA, NJ, and MA elections right before the vote. All 3 lost in a landslide! Every aspiring demo should think twice before inviting Oby to appear with him/her.

    February 16, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Once a gain a Clinton tries to undermind Obama"

    Thank you for your inane contribution Fake Sniffit.

    As for this: "Blumenthal held a commanding lead in hypothetical match-ups against Simmons and McMahon in a Quinnipiac poll from mid-January."

    Does there really need to be any inquiry into why the two bloviating meatpuppets quoted above from the other campaigns are broadcasting barely sane analyses of Blumenthal's somewhat lukewarmish waffling (but fairly reasonable) statement on whether Obama would be campaigning for him? Seriously...I'm beginning to wonder if the hot air and spin spewing from GOPers' mouths over the past year is doing more to alter the planet's climate than world-wide pollution (or perhaps it's just another form of pollution).

    February 16, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Ms. DO

    I guess Blumenthal is afraid of and is a racist if he can't bring in the President! Why run on a democratic ticket if he is a tea party person!

    February 16, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Only in right wing nutso land does "I haven't presumed to ask" become "distancing himself from an unpopular President". And only in extreme Right wing Nutso land is Linda McMahon considered a viable Senatorial candidate.

    February 16, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. ronalde

    One would think that Blumenthal would not take a page out of Al gores playbook you see what happen to him.

    February 16, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. mom2boys

    Wow, the writing in these comments is making me laugh out loud! Really, do you people even proof read your comments before you put them up there? I have grown up in and lived in CT my entire life and I like Blumenthal. I do not think he is a "leftie that is bankrupting CT" as Glenn states. I think he is a middle of the road democrat with sensible solutions who truly cares about CT. That said, he has nothing to worry about with an approval rate of 84% in the state...the win is a given for him. And Felicia, please go back to school. You're making yourself look foolish.

    February 16, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Duck Fallas

    Ask the wrestler lady if she's going to invide Bush to campaign with her.

    February 16, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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