Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway was mum Wednesday on whether he would invite President Barack Obama to Kentucky to campaign for him.
Republican opponent Rand Paul and GOP leaders have tried to tie Conway to Obama. Polls show the president, who got just 41 percent of the vote in Kentucky, is unpopular among voters here.
Obama has "a lot on his plate right now," Conway, the state attorney general, said Wednesday when asked if he would invite the president to get involved in the race.
"I plan to go out and win this election on my own," Conway said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, is among those who have tried to make the election a referendum on Obama, saying electing Conway would give the Democratic president another vote in the Senate.
"It's not going to be about Barack Obama coming to Kentucky to campaign for me," Conway told reporters. "I would welcome him in the state if he wants to come. I would take the opportunity to point out where I disagree with him on a number of issues."
Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton charged Wednesday that Conway agrees with Obama on "a slate of very unpopular issues" with Kentucky residents, including federal health care reforms.
"Jack Conway may try to keep the president off the campaign trail, but he cannot hide the fact that he supports Barack Obama's liberal agenda," Benton said.
Conway and Paul, who is backed by the tea party, are running for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, a 78-year-old former major league pitcher who opted not to seek a third term.
Conway said the race should not be about any other elected official.
"I would imagine that Rand Paul will continue to make comments and try to make this about some candidate other than me," Conway said. "But his election is going to be about our campaign and Rand Paul's campaign."
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.