With just eight days left until the midterm elections, President Barack Obama is finding himself fighting off attacks on both sides of the political aisle as he continues to cross the country for campaign and fundraising events.
Today the President touched down in the predominately blue state of Rhode Island to focus on turning out the Democratic base, by reminding voters how often Republican lawmakers stood in the way of his economic proposals.
"I wish that Republican leaders in Congress had agreed earlier. They voted against these ideas again and again," Obama said of the $30 billion aid bill today in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, "It's just playing politics. You know, if you're going to talk a big game, then you need to deliver," the president added.
As a presidential candidate two years ago, Obama was known for visiting states and counties Democrats had not won in years. In this political cycle the president has had to take a slightly different approach. Today's visit marked the 23rd consecutive county that Obama found himself forced to revisit after winning with an average of 70 percent of the vote in 2008.
Obama's time in Rhode Island today was a clear example of how Democratic leads and unity have waned in recent months.
Much of the tension arose from comments Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio made this morning on WPRO Radio in Providence. Caprio, angered over the President's lack of endorsement in the Rhode Island Senate race, lashed out. "I never asked President Obama for his endorsement and what's going on here is really Washington insider politics at its worst," Caprio said. "He can take his endorsement and really shove it as far as I am concerned."
The President has not endorsed Caprio, or any other candidate because of his fondness for independent gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee. Chafee, then a Republican, had endorsed Obama during his presidential run.
The rift between the president and the Democratic Party's candidate was made even more apparent when Caprio did not show up at the local factory where Obama was, leaving a chair reserved in the audience for Caprio empty.
However, it isn't just the Democrats that are suffering from internal discord this campaign season.
Murkowski attacked the Army veteran for ethical controversies.
"What would your instructors, what would your classmates at West Point say about how well you have lived up to your code of honor," Murkowski said. "Joe is not fit to lead. I have been leading."
The audience booed Murkowski.
Operatives from both parties hope the bitter discourse doesn't resonate with voters. In the last days of the campaign season, each party has launched multimillion dollar get-out-the vote efforts. Candidates are also making targeted efforts at outreach such as Delaware GOP senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's appearance on the Christian Broadcasting Network today.
O'Donnell spoke of her faith's influence on her politics.
"God is the reason that I'm running," she said.
Other get out the vote efforts are trying to appeal more broadly, like First Lady Michelle Obama's appearance in Seattle today.
Mrs. Obama held a campaign fundraiser for endangered Democratic Senator Patty Murray.