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

Obama comes under attack on western swing

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/18/art.obama.file.gi.jpg caption="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. How to loose an election for Dummies

    Have Obama work on your behalf.Have Obama do the talking for you.Sit back and watch your opponent take command and win.

    February 18, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. dstay

    I hope our hope & change president continues to campaign for the dems as it appears he helped sink the dem. candidates in Va, NJ, & MA. Please continue this wonderful strategy, Obama, but would you consider taking Pelosi & Reid on the stump with you, PLEASE?!

    February 18, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. ROM

    The President is doing his best, talk to the Republicians about acting like children. Maybe America needs a 3rd party, the primary parties are doing nothing Dems and Repubs. The Tea party is a joke, it is only made up of a bunch of bigots trying to send America backwards.
    My Opinion, like all others. Thank you

    February 18, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. cindy ex-republican

    correction-politically, opposition. darn fake nails lol

    February 18, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Tim

    Let me just say, I'm glad he's nowhere near me.

    February 18, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. REG in AZ

    It is senseless to debate with those who are simply dishonest as they have no conscience, no rules, and you are then at a disadvantage (GWBush, Cheney & Rove continually took advantage of that). The Democrats are not all pure and clean but on a scale of from 1 – 10, with ten being the worst, the Democrats are about a four or five and the current Republicans are literally an eight or nine. Just viewing what is said and what is done, what their rhetoric offers and what their actions provide, then the arrogant and stubborn deceptive efforts become obvious. There are Democrats who aren't anything to rave about and all together they often fail to have unity and clear direction but they do offer a conscience and, for the most part, a sincere interest in benefiting the majority. The Republicans, with their strong unity being coerced through intimidation and pressure, diligently follow the script with their individual consciences being firmly tucked away. It is totally apparent that their loyalty, followed without guilt or hesitation, is to Special Interests and a select few, being those who strongly, overtly and covertly, support them. With their supporters they demonstrate a clear focus, with an abundance of money and effort spent on aggressively manipulating public opinion using creative appeals to people's fears, biases, prejudices and emotions and with an unrelenting focus on placating and patronizing the select few. The obvious result being that when the Republicans can exert their will the extremely wealthy, powerful and influential few always gain substantially, the poor become poorer and the middle class, all of the middle class, loose significantly (just check the timing of the growth in the spread between the wealthy and the middle class). All of it isn't hard to see; what is hard though is to be objective and rational, putting aside the emotions and rejecting the deceptive appeals, to see and understand what honestly is in the majority's best interests. When they throw around terms supporting 'conservatism' it should be a red-flag warning, as most often it is really an effort to disguise a concentration on giving benefit to the few and only apathy, the costs and an abundance of subterfuge to the many. I can't deny that the Democrats need to improve, to squelch the bickering and competition within their ranks, to become more effective in solving problems and to realistically get results for the people, but even considering all of that they are still the only other real choice and the better choice. The current Republican Party offers only arrogance and gross dishonesty and a return to 'more of the same' that has cost us so much and would again.

    February 18, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    No stimulus money for you former Lt Governer. See how that goes over, idiot. Clamor for any and you're a hypocrite, like that doesn't already apply to all you fiscal double-talkers

    February 18, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. precious

    Well, we just saved or created 2 more jobs that congress and the white house could have handled without additional cost to the taxpayers. Well, 8 million+ more jobs to go.

    February 18, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. aware

    Now that is an excellent idea Jane Norton, but don't hold your breath! 🙂

    February 18, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Steph

    How is this news? Republicans are attacking him every day. The man takes a step, takes a breath, captures top Taliban leaders, moves forward on a bi-partisan idea (like a debt reduction panel) and they attack him. Once the group voted against their own plan for the panel to reduce the debt, it became more than obvious that they're going to say no and attack him for anything he does. It is so sick and sad.

    February 18, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. File under "Sarcasm"

    Great! I hope the Campaigner-in-Chief is as big a help as he was in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts.

    February 18, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. BeverlyNC

    Once again, all Republicans can do is criticize. Since they have NO solutions, NO new ideas, and have NOTHING to offer Americans in need, they always resort to pitiful and lame criticism of our great President.

    Republicans are terrified of our intelligent Black President who is a great leader, who has total focus on restoring our country and trying to help Americans with jobs, tax reductions, help for small businesses, protection laws from abuse by the banks and a wonderful moral effort to bring healthcare to deserving Americans. Everything President Obama has done has been for the PEOPLE.

    Everything the Republcans have done is FOR GREEDY ABUSIVE CORPORATIONS, BANKS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES. Everything they have done is work AGAINST THE PEOPLE and vote NO on every single piece of legislation to help working Americans.

    Remember what Republicans did to our country under Bozo Bush and the Evil Cheney and how nasty, in the gutter, outrageous liars and traitors they been to the People this whole Congressional session. Remember that the Democrats WORKED hard all year for YOUR benefit while Republicans did NOTHING but take millions from insurance companies to kill healthcare reform and are now taking millions to keep the greedy banks from being re-regulated. They are also trying to slow down a great JOBS bill that has already passed the House and is waiting for vote in the Senate.

    Republicans are liars. If they cared about YOU they would be passing the JOBS bill, the re-regulation of the banks who ruined our economy and stole from us, and would vote for insurance company reform for these monopolies who kill us for profit. NO, NOT THEM. Republicans only support these ABUSIVE CORPORATIONS AND WORK AGAINST US!

    Republicans have betrayed America so all they can find time to do is criticize, lie, and act with no integrity, character, or honor. They are not in Congress to serve US. They are there to service Corporations.

    Republicans are the worst hypocrites. They voted against the Stimulus Package but made sure their districts got stimulus money and came back asking for more because it was such a huge success. They took total credit for this money but still criticize President Obama for providing them with this money which has greatly helped states and communities.

    February 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. rdepontb

    Dear Mr. President,

    This outlandish, public mocking of the Presidency has got to stop. In part, your staff has brought it on, and that has to be dawning on you. Time to change it up.

    E.g., Ramm, we're all sure, is a tireless, smart and savvy staffer. However, he has provided person-to-person guidance in the way a Tomahawk missile would provide face-to-face guidance. You _know_ that .05% of the time in a bad mood ends up leaving one in a bad light 100% of the time. We have lost a civility in general, but only part of that can be blamed on the Internet and such. At this point, former President Clinton commands more respect in the press and at appearances than either you or W. What does that tell us? SOMETHING WAS LOST OVER RECENT YEARS, AND IT IS HURTING OUR NATION IN TOO MANY WAYS. IT IS YOUR TURN NOW, SO YOU ARE LEFT TO FIX IT. PLEASE!!

    Thank you.

    February 18, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. geecee

    Oh, what? You mean he can't perform miracles? And after all this time when the Republicans kept referring to him as the Democrats' Messiah, but we knew he wasn't that miraculous. So, now we know he is just a human being, can't perform miracles, and it will take more than a year to turn the mess around that Bush/Cheney left behind in their wake. Oh, but don't give him any more time. Just run him out of office, don't wait until 2012. Do it now. Just because he can't create jobs overnight, and make everybody in this country rich beyond their wildest dreams. That's it. He's no good. Get rid of him and all the Democrats because they can't seem to stop the Republicans from obstructing everything the Dems propose. It's Obama's fault, it's the Dems fault. Vote them out!

    February 18, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Bob in Pa

    Someone should scould BO on the way the government is going after Toyota. It is a little bit more than obvious that Chicago and the Unions are trying to boost GM sales. Being an owner of 2 GM cars and 1 Toyota, it is a no brainer to choose a Toyota.

    February 18, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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