Kansas City, MO (FOX) -- Comparing congressional Republicans to dangerous teenage drivers and binge-spending drunken sailors, President Obama held no metaphor back as he hit the campaign trail for the first of two stops in pivotal mid-term Senate races.
While raising money for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Robin Carnahan in Kansas City Thursday, Obama tried out some new rhetoric, framing the fall midterm elections by blaming the GOP for the sluggish economy, and urging voters not to give Republicans another chance.
"This is a choice between the policies that got us into this mess in the first place and the policies that are getting us out of this mess, and the other side is banking on people not having a good memory," said Mr. Obama. "They're trying to bamboozle you."
Carnahan, on the other hand, went right after Republican Congressman Roy Blunt, her likely opponent this fall in the race to replace retiring Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo). The Missouri secretary of state brought out a familiar theme that has been used over and over again in elections from the 2009 gubernatorial contests in New Jersey and Virginia to the recent Congressional primaries across the country -- the anti-Washington sentiment.
"The best way to fix what's wrong in Washington is to elect people who are not caught up in the culture of Washington," Carnahan said. "The Congressman looks pretty good in his plaid shirt and rented pickup trick... I've got a name for that, it's bull."
Blunt, the former GOP House minority whip who has also led in every public poll taken in the race this year, says the issues are on his side, "Health care, cap and trade, card check, bad tax policies, where are the jobs and why is the government spending so much money?" asked Blunt. "She'd like for the election to be about anything but the issues," Blunt said Tuesday in an interview with Fox.
President Obama hasn't always been welcome this year because some candidates have shied away from a White House with unpopular policies in many states.
"She's behind in the polling. She's behind in the fundraising," said Blunt. "I think this is clearly an effort to understand that she's going to take some baggage on but this is a guy who should and will raise money...He can come to Missouri all he wants to. I'm glad to make him part of this campaign if that's what he wants to be."
The president fingered Blunt as one of the GOP leaders who made the decisions that led to the financial meltdown and compared the GOP controlled Congress ousted in 2006, to a wayward teenage driver, "These folks drove the economy into a ditch and they want the keys back, and you've got to say the same thing to them that you say to your teenager, you can't have the keys back because you don't know how to drive yet."
Obama left Missouri and winged off to Las Vegas, Nevada where he raised money for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is seen by political experts as one of the most vulnerable incumbent senators in the country. Reid's opponent is Sharron Angle, a little known GOP candidate with ties to Tea Party activists.
At the fundraiser for Reid Thursday night, Obama noted Reid’s race was going to be a “close election” and encouraged supporters to knock on doors and make calls to get out the vote for the senator.
The president used similar rhetoric as the earlier Carnahan event and blamed Republicans. “For the last two years, Harry has been dealing with the do-nothing Republican leadership in the Senate…But despite all their tactics, despite all their political maneuvering, he's [Reid’s] just been steady.”
Obama also took jabs at Reid’s opponent, saying she believes in “worn-out” Republican theories and that she is “extreme.” He hit on her views on social security, Medicare, clean energy and the BP oil spill.
Friday the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a new television ad slamming Obama and Reid on their views on the economy and saying they give too many bailouts and handouts. The ad was slated to appear in Nevada for one day with the message that the two are a "bust."
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.