A couple weeks ago, President Obama declared that, while he wasn't on the Nov. 4 ballot, his policies were. And just about every GOP candidate in a red or swing state soon launched an ad using that comment to tie his or her Democratic opponent to Obama.
Well, Obama appears to have just handed Republicans some more ammunition.
In an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton on Monday, Obama defended his support for candidates in top races who haven't welcomed Obama to campaign with them.
"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."
While it's the second time Obama has gone down this road, this comment probably stings more than the last one for Democrats running in key Senate races -- almost all of which are in red or swing states where Obama is quite unpopular.
While Obama's previous comment suggested the election was indeed something of a referendum on him, these comments suggest not only that, but that Democratic candidates are actually on-board with him -- something most of them have made pains to argue is not the case.
Obama's comments are the kind of thing Democrats might privately say to assure donors and the party base, but wouldn't really say in public.
At the same time, he's really only saying something that most political observers already believe to be true -- that however much distance these Democrats are seeking from the president, they will generally be on-board with his agenda. Almost all Democrats in Congress, after all, vote with their party the vast majority of the time.
It's just that two weeks before an election in states in which Obama isn't all that popular, Democratic candidates probably don't want voters to be reminded of that fact.