Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Wednesday refused to associate Democratic Senate candidates with President Barack Obama's policies.
The issue has become a hot potato for Democrats in the closing weeks of the midterm elections as they try to keep Senate seats in several red states where Obama is unpopular and, with those seats, control of the chamber.
On MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough repeatedly asked Wasserman Schultz if votes for Democrats would be votes for the continuation of Obama's policies. Wasserman Schultz, a representative from South Florida, became the latest in a long line of Democrats to point out that Obama is not up for election this year.
“Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2012 and 2008,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Pressed further, she did not refute that Democratic candidates align with Obama's policies, but also refused to affirm it. Asked again, she said that votes for Democrats would be votes for “candidates who are focused on creating jobs.”
Obama offered fodder to Republicans during a speech in Evanston, Ill., earlier this month when he said that “I am not on the ballot this fall ... but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.”
The president did not stop there. In a recent interview with MSNBC's Al Sharpton, he made a more explicit connection between the candidates and himself.
“These are all folks who vote with me,” Obama said. “They have have supported my agenda in Congress.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest faced questions about Obama's latest remarks on Tuesday and attempted to do some cleanup.
“The success of many of these Democratic candidates will depend on their own success in motivating voters that strongly supported the president in 2012,” Earnest said.