Obama Hammers Down-Ballot Republicans as Clinton Maintains Lead

President urges voters to send Democrats to Congress.

ByBenjamin Siegel
October 23, 2016, 10:36 PM

— -- President Obama continued his assault on down-ballot Republicans in Nevada Sunday, criticizing Senate candidate Joe Heck and the GOP at large for enabling Donald Trump, while urging Nevadans to send Democrats to Congress.

"Presidents can't do everything on their own," Obama said. "We can't elect Hillary [Clinton] and saddle her with a Congress that is do-nothing."

He ripped Heck, who had endorsed Trump until the "Access Hollywood" episode, for telling donors he wants to support Trump after publicly urging him to withdraw from the presidential race.

"When Donald creates his TV station, I'm sure Joe Heck will be up on there, giving interviews," he said.

A fiery Obama, who periodically led chants of "Heck no!" accused GOP leaders of tolerating conspiracy theories about his birth and paving the way for Trump's rise.

"Donald Trump didn't start it. He just did what he always did -- which is slap his name on it, take credit for it, and promote it. That's what he does," he said.

He also pushed back on Republicans' emerging argument for voters to send Republicans back to Congress to check a President Hillary Clinton.

"A vote for them is basically more gridlock," he said.

The attack, delivered at a Clinton rally in Las Vegas, is Obama's second direct rebuke of a GOP senator in the past week, and comes as Clinton maintains her lead over Trump just over two weeks before Election Day.

Speaking in Florida Thursday, Obama slammed Sen. Marco Rubio for continuing to endorse Trump for president while standing by his numerous criticisms of the presidential candidate during the primary.

The race to replace retiring Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada is one of the few where Republicans are on offense, and have a chance to flip a Democratic seat.

While he's going after Republicans on the trail, Obama is also lending Democrats a hand in down-ballot races across the country.

He's appeared in a handful of radio and television ads for House and Senate candidates, and plans to endorse roughly 150 candidates in all.

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events