DENVER - As President Obama visits Denver to raise money for Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado), Republicans are aiming to tie the two together, hoping to use the president's sagging approval rating against the incumbent senator.
To that end, Udall's GOP rival Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) is launching a web video Wednesday morning that features Udall on stage warming up a crowd of Obama supporters at a 2008 campaign event.
"Let me utter two really sweet words: President Obama," exclaims Udall in the video.
The soundbite is repeated while various negative headlines appear, meaning to convey a worsening economic situation ushered in by President Obama.
Strangely, one of these headlines cites a 2009 article on high job losses in Colorado, a story that's certainly changed a lot since then with the state consistently adding jobs since 2010.
Nevertheless, the video plays on Udall's plan to skip a speech the president plans to deliver in Denver's Cheesman Park late Wednesday morning, aimed at improving economic conditions for the middle class.
Udall decided to take votes in the Senate on Wednesday.
"Mark is grateful for the president's support and had hoped to welcome him to Colorado in person, but his responsibilities to serve Colorado in the Senate come first," said Chris Harris, a spokesperson for the campaign.
FULL STATEMENT: Udall will not attend his fundraiser featuring Obama
9NEWS Political Analyst Floyd Ciruli said not appearing and not having a picture taken with the president that has a lower approval rating can be beneficial to a campaign.
"You're trying to get some separation from Washington. You're trying to look independent," Ciruli said.
Ciruli argues it's not uncommon for presidents to have this problem during second terms.
"As soon as we re-elect them we think 'well, maybe we encouraged them too much.' It happened to President Bush right after his re-election in '04 and by '06 he was in desperate trouble," Ciruli said. "And it's happening to Barack Obama."
Ciruli sees a similar dynamic playing out among Gardner's Republican allies, especially attempts by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) to brand Gardner as a "reformer."
"The Republican senators recognize that Washington is not very popular," Ciruli said. "One of the best ways they can help Gardner is to give him some space, make him an individual that's a little more independent."
Congress, a body to which both candidates belong, has approval ratings in the teens.
Expect both sides to try to keep hammering messages that voting for the other guy represents a vote for "Washington as usual."
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