Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina is staying away from President Obama’s appearance in her state Wednesday. And Republicans are eager to point it out.
Hagan’s office has said the Democratic senator can’t make it because she’ll be in Washington where the Senate is in session. But the GOP is accusing her of not wanting to appear with Obama, who is increasingly unpopular in the Tar Heel State.
“Kay Hagan can run from her record of voting with President Obama 96 percent of the time, but she cannot hide,” RNC spokesman Michael Short said in a statement that the group blasted out to reporters Wedensday afternoon.
Hagan faces a tough re-election fight this year. A PPP poll released this week found her approval rating at a worrying 39%, and had her narrowly trailing three different Republican challengers. The race could help determine control of the Senate.
Since the summer, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity has been running ads attacking Hagan for her support for Obamacare.
Obama acknowledged Hagan’s absence during his appearance, which was aimed at promoting manufacturing. “Your senator, Kay Hagan, couldn’t be here, but I wanted to thank her for the great work she’s been doing,” he said, in a video clip that the RNC sent to reporters.
Late Update, 3:25pm: Hagan campaign communications director Sadie Weiner responds with a statement:
This is just another political attack from a shadowy outside group that has no accountability to North Carolinians. Just like she’s always been, Kay is focused on doing her job today, which includes cleaning up the unemployment insurance mess Thom Tillis created in Raleigh, voting on a bill to avoid a government shutdown, and attending an Armed Services Committee briefing on Iraq and Syria. It seems like the fringe, special interest disdain for middle class families runs so deep that they don’t understand the simple importance of Kay doing the job she was elected to do in the Senate. On the other hand, Thom Tillis is so wrapped up in his special interest agenda that he repeatedly skipped out on his job to raise campaign cash.