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Natalie Tennant dodges questions on Obama, Harry Reid and Obamacare

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Harry Reid,West Virginia,2014 Elections,Campaigns,Ashe Schow,Natalie Tennant

Natalie Tennant, West Virginia's secretary of state and Democratic Senate candidate, seems to have a problem answering tough questions.

Questions like: Would you let President Obama campaign for you? Would you support Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., as Senate majority leader? And, would you have voted for Obamacare?

On Sunday, Tennant wouldn't give a straight answer as to whether she would let Obama campaign for her in West Virginia, saying instead he would “have a lot of explaining to do” regarding coal regulations.

Tennant was asked the question by MSNBC host Steve Kornacki, and at first stumbled through a response about the definition of a “red state” before finding her footing and bring the conversation back to coal states.

When asked again about Obama campaigning for her, Tennant first said nothing (this could have been due to technical difficulties) but then said she would “work with anyone who would put West Virginia forward.”

Tennant also wouldn't say last week whether she would vote for Reid to continue as Senate majority leader. The Inter-Mountain, a West Virginia newspaper, reported that “despite being asked multiple times,” Tennant wouldn't give a firm answer.

“That is so far down the road,” Tennant said. “And I don't answer to Harry Reid. And I don't answer to Barack Obama. It's not just about saying ‘no.' ”

“I don't worry about [Reid] -- I worry about West Virginia. That's who I answer to,” Tennant added. “I will work with anybody who puts West Virginia first, and who makes sure we have strong-paying jobs in the state.”

And in June, Tennant suggested on Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., might be her real choice.

In October 2013, Tennant dodged multiple questions from Kercheval about whether she would have voted for Obamacare had she been in the Senate in 2009 and 2010.

The New York Times even noted her Obamacare dodges in December 2013.

“If I were in office in 2010, I certainly would have brought West Virginia values to it,” Tennant said at the time.

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