Two Democrats running for office have distanced themselves from president Obama recently. In a debate in Arizona Wednesday night, congressional nominee Ron Barber, who is running for Gabrielle Giffords's old seat in a special election on June 12, refused to commit to voting for President Obama in November.
Barber fielded the question from his opponent, Jesse Kelly. From the Arizona Daily Star:
When it was his turn to ask his rival a question, Kelly asked Barber to declare who he’ll vote for in November for president, and Barber — although a Democrat with an incumbent president of his party — refused, saying he’s focused on his own campaign.
Kelly used that demurral as an opportunity to say Barber won’t even admit that he supports Obama and “Obamacare,” a law that Kelly described as terrible.
“My biggest fear is Mr. Obama’s job-killing policies,” Kelly said.
Barber later retorted that his biggest fear is Kelly’s “extreme policies.”
The other candidate to distance herself from Obama is Heidi Heidtkamp, who's running for Senate in North Dakota. Heidtkamp told the AP that she thinks the president has "failed in the one test America had for him, which was to unite the country."
"I think he needed to be more hands-on. ... I don't think he's done enough to think broadly and come up with solutions that would engage both sides in a reasonable dialogue," she said.
Barber and Heidtkamp aren't the only Democrats in red states to distance themselves from Obama. In West Virginia, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin have both said they haven't decided whether to vote for Obama in November.