POLITICS: PennAve

White House: Obama thinking about midterms

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Democratic Party,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Jay Carney

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday said that the November midterms were on President Obama's mind as he meets with his party's lawmakers this week.

“He’s the head of his party,” said Carney on Wednesday. “Of course, it’s on his mind.”

Carney, though, cautioned that the upcoming midterms were “not the only thing” the president was focused on, saying that Obama’s attention remained on pushing his agenda forward.

Carney's comments come as Obama meets Senate Democrats on Wednesday, following his Tuesday meeting with members of the House Democratic Congress.

2014 will be a crucial year for Obama and congressional Democrats, as the president looks to solidify his legacy. That effort will be complicated by Democratic lawmakers many of whom are looking to distance themselves from Obama's low approval ratings and some of his policies.

The president's approval ratings dropped to new lows last year after the botched rollout of his health care law's new insurance exchanges.

Republicans are planning to target red state Democratic senators and tie them to Obama’s policies in their bid to regain control of the upper chamber.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Democratic Alaska Sen. Mark Begich said that he did not want Obama campaigning for him and that his policies had hurt his state.

Asked about Begich, Carney said that Obama would help Democratic candidates in any ways requested.

“The president will, as he already has, be actively involved in assisting Democrats up for re-election or running for office in the Senate and the House, as you would expect,” he said.

“He'll be doing everything he can to assist Democrats, as he already has,” Carney added.

This story was published at 2:24 p.m. and has been updated.

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