U.S. Sen. Mark Udall skipped a fundraiser Wednesday in his home state of Colorado that was headlined by President Barack Obama, showing the slippery slope Democrats face in their attempt to distance themselves from the unpopular president.
While Obama spoke at a Denver hotel, Udall was back in Washington, D.C., continuing his work as a senator, but also mindful that he is in one of the toughest Senate races in the nation, Fox News
"It wasn't a political decision," said Udall's campaign spokesman Chris Harris. But quickly Republicans called Udall out as a lawmaker who voted in lockstep with the Obama agenda, "99 percent of the time," the National Republican Senatorial Committee noted.
Obama sought to define Udall in his remarks as an independent and noted that the senator, who served 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before joining the Senate in 2009, wasn't always in the president's camp.
Udall "is not an ideologue," Obama noted. "Doesn't agree with me on everything. But he believes in the core idea that should be what Democrats are all about: the idea that if you work hard, you should be able to make it."
Udall stayed in Washington to vote on the confirmation of Julian Castro as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Los Angeles Times
reported. His district is 20 percent Hispanic.
He also held a news conference to introduce a bill in the wake of the recent Hobby Lobby ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, an issue he has opposed as he seeks to court female voters who could prove important in his Colorado re-election bid. He has used the contraceptive coverage issue in his campaign ads, which have been called out by his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner.
Gardner was forced to come out in support of over-the-counter birth control as the two candidates battled over contraception publicly, the Huffington Post
Gardner's campaign issued a web video reminding voters of Udall's deep connections with Obama. Noted the National Republican Senatorial Committee of Udall's absence at his own event: "Actions speak louder than words. It's clear that the president is beyond toxic, and Mark Udall's campaign is running scared."
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