September 14th, 2010
01:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama stays out of DC mayoral battle

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is in a tight race with City Council Chairman Vincent Gray for the Democratic primary, set for Tuesday."]

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is staying neutral in a bitter Democratic primary contest in his own backyard.

As voters in the District of Columbia cast ballots in Tuesday's primary, the White House reconfirmed that the president is not taking sides in the Democratic contest for mayor.

Last week Mayor Adrian Fenty, who faces a tough bid for a second term in office, told WTOP, the city's all news radio station, that he personally called the White House to ask for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama's endorsement. Fenty endorsed then presidential candidate Obama prior to the 2008 D.C. primary.

"I have personally reached out," Fenty told WTOP. "I don't want to get into who I would have talked to for obvious reasons."

Fenty said that he did not expect the president to make a personal appearance on his behalf before the primary.

Ask by reporters Tuesday why the President didn't campaign with Fenty, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said "the president doesn't get involved in every single race."

Recent polls of likely Democratic primary voters in D.C. indicated that Fenty trailed City Council Chairman Vincent Gray in the party's mayoral primary.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: Adrian Fenty • President Obama • Vincent Gray • Washington D.C.
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    This guy has to stand on his record. If it isn't good, then do away with him, and elect his opponent.

    September 14, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. dont care what you Demoncrates say

    thats a first for obama not to open his racists mouth

    September 14, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. AB Baltimore MD

    One good turn deserves another. Adrian Fenty endorsed Obama for President. I think that President Obama should return the favor and endorse Fenty for Mayor. Tomorrow, President Obama will be calling Fenty to endorse his re-election bid for President in 2012. This is called give and take–You scratch my back today and I will scratch yours tomorrow.

    September 14, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Pastor Mitchell

    Candidates should not expect the President to jump into every race. It is unfair to pull him into every race. Please give him a break, he has so much on his plate. When he stays out of races then people are mad which is the wrong spirit. Let us pray for him and not over burden him.

    September 14, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. cm

    It's not up to the president, stop looking for favors. The votes will show if you are doing or not doing your job. Continue on or get out of the way.

    September 14, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Stay Away

    If he wants a win, he probabaly should be thankful he didn't get the endorsement.

    September 14, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Bo/Framingham, MA

    The Prez can not help every candidate begging for support. We know that Obama is the mack daddy of macks, but all you dems need to ride on your own merits.

    September 14, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. DJ

    While Fenty has does some good things in DC, he should have checked his arrogance meter in getting them done. I find it so interesting how now he comes to realize how his attitude plays into the mind of people who live in DC now that he is pretty much out. I think a lot of folks in DC really like what he has done with the schools however, in doing it he failed to connect with the people on why he and Rhee felt it had to be done. Their delivery was all wrong what the people saw was what they thought were good teachers being fired. He has this my way or the highway attitude and while some times it is good to have that, he needs to work on how to deliver it to the people of DC. Because it was interpreted as arrogant and not caring. But this is just one example, but there are others, so while it seems it is too late to correct it Mr. Fenty, I hope you learn from your mistakes.

    September 14, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. felicia

    I know one thing Mayor Fenty is one fine man. He looks like a piece of carmel candy.

    September 14, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |