During today’s White House briefing, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl pressed White House spokesman Josh Earnest on whether President Barack Obama disappeared from the campaign trail this weekend because he is “toxic” to Senate Democrats.
We are eight days out from midterm elections that could be highly consequential for this president. Why is he here without any public schedule at the White House, why did he spend the entire weekend completely outside of public view? How can he is not out campaigning with and for Democratic candidates in these races?
Earnest replied that Obama has “so many stops” scheduled in the coming week that “I have to look up exactly where the president’s traveling.” He read off stops in Maine, Rhode Island, Michigan, Philadelphia, and Connecticut, all in support of Democratic candidates.
Karl pushed back, “You’re not going to stand there and tell me the president’s been actively campaigning in these midterm elections.”
Earnest said, “I think any examination of the president’s schedule would indicate a serious commitment to supporting democratic candidates on the ballot.”
Karl asked Earnest to name the Senate Democrats with whom the president has campaigned in this cycle. The White House spox cited Michigan Democratic Senate candidate Gary Peters and Minnesota incumbent Al Franken as examples (both candidates in liberal states and who have big leads)
What you’ve seen the president do is dedicate his time to doing what he can to support Democratic candidates and he’s spent a lot of time raising money and that reflects, I think, a significant commitment of this president’s time and energy to supporting democratic candidates.
Finally Karl asked what we all knew, “You don’t agree the president’s been considered politically toxic to many of those Democrats running?”
Not wanting to lose his job, Earnest answered, “I do not agree with that assessment.”
Watch the video below: