Democratic Sen. Mark Udall said he was not avoiding President Barack Obama when he didn’t attend Denver events involving the president last week.
Republicans mocked Udall for not attending his own fundraiser that the president headlined on July 8 and for not showing up for an economic speech that Obama gave in central Denver the next day.
Instead, Udall stayed in Washington, D.C., “to do his job.”
“I appreciate the president’s support,” Udall told reporters on July 11. “I wanted to be here, but I had a job to do in Washington.”
Udall said he stayed in Washington to cast votes for Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary and for key pieces of legislation.
Republicans said that Udall — who is running in a tight re-election bid against U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner — was making a politically strategic decision to not be seen with a president with low approval ratings.
“I’ll let the pundits talk about all of that,” Udall said. “I was in DC doing my job. Coloradans know that’s the number one focus I had. I appreciate the president’s support and, as you know, we had Vice President (Joe) Biden here last month and I was here to stand with him ... ”