Obama Makes Exception for Virginia

Charlottesville rally is President’s only event for single House candidate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Charlottesville should be feeling awfully special.  President Obama picked the Virginia college town as his only campaign stop for an individual House candidate in the mid-term elections.

    The Friday night rally for Rep. Tom Perriello wasn’t rehashed and scripted rhetoric, either. It appeared focused on the specifics of the candidate and the district at stake.

    Rep. Perriello barely won his seat two years ago. Today the Democrat is locked in a tight race for re-election against Virginia state senator Robert Hurt. 

    “Two years ago, we turned Virginia blue for the first time since the Civil Rights Act passed,” said Rep. Perriello.  “With your help, a guy with no political experience was able to step in and make some changes.”

    Republicans brushed off the President’s appearance in Charlottesville as cronies having one another’s backs. Rep. Perriello has supported the president’s health care and energy bills. 

    The President acknowledged the loyalty of Virginia voters but dismissed any notions of Perriello playing lap dog.

    “I am not here because Tom agrees with me on every issue; I am here because in this day and age, political courage is hard to come by,” said the President.  “His first allegiance is not to party issues. It’s to his district and the people of Virginia.”

    The President touted Rep. Perriello’s accomplishments during his first term.

    “Tom went to (Washington) to fight for jobs in Virginia and to make college more affordable,” said Obama. “The first bill he wrote was a $2,500 tuition tax credit that is now the law of the land.”

    “He went to Washington to take on the insurance companies and the banks--to make sure they can’t take advantage of the American people.”

    The focus then turned to Republicans.

    “They are not lifting a finger to help,” said the President.  “They are hoping people just blame the democrats and forget who caused the mess in the first place.”

    “This election is a choice: between the policies that got us into this mess and the policies that are getting us out of this mess.”

    Considered a liability in some contests, the President's endorsement has been the subject of controversy this week.

    Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio said that President Obama could "take his endorsement and really shove it" after the President failed to mention Caprio during a stop in Rhode Island. 

    The White House said that the President omitted Caprio's name out of respect for former Senator Lincoln Chafee -- a gesture that The Nation likened to an endorsement of Chafee.

    Ultimately, voters in Virginia, Rhode Island and elsewhere will decide on November 2.