The White House Tuesday defended President Obama's latest comment to seemingly gift opponents with another attack-ad ready soundbite -- that even Democrats trying to keep their distance from him are all "folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress."

"The question the reverend asked him [was], a lot of listeners are supporters of yours -- why should they take their support from you and transfer that to other candidates?" White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "The president said he's looking for partners in Congress who are supportive" of his policies, he added.

"They don't support [the policies] because the president supports them. They support them because they're the right thing to do," said Earnest. "The president is pleased to have partners in Congress working with him to make progress," he said. "Here's the other thing: the Democrats are going to be counting on Hispanics, African-Americans, young people, young women in particular to turn out [in the midterm] elections. The president got them to turn out in 2008 and 2012."

Obama, who hit the road this week to bolster endangered Democrats, said on Al Sharpton's radio show Monday he would continue to embrace candidates in tight races who have shunned him over concerns his low approval ratings could hurt their chances at getting back to Washington.

"The bottom line is, though, these are are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress," Obama said.

He continued: "So this isn't about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. I tell them -- I said, you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out."

The universe of Democratic congressional candidates who want the president's public support this fall has been vanishingly small. So far, Obama has focused his attention on gubernatorial candidates in solidly blue territory.

Earnest said Tuesday that the White House is sharing the results of past get-out-the-vote efforts with candidates on the ballot this fall. "We're trying to share the lessons learned with campaigns -- giving them access to people strongly supportive of our campaign in '08 and 2012. And they will benefit from that," he said.

This is the second time in the past few weeks that Obama has seemingly handed Republicans a ready-made quote. At Northwestern University earlier this month Obama said that while he isn't on the ballot, his policies -- including a push to raise the minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act and equal pay for women -- were all on the ballot.