10/23/2014 08:49 am ET

Democratic Sen. Mark Begich: 'The President Is Not Relevant'

Alex Wong via Getty Images

Barack Obama who?

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) offered one of the sharpest put downs about the president on Wednesday, when he told the Washington Examiner's Rebecca Berg that the leader of the Democratic party was essentially finished two years before the end of his last term in office.

When asked if he voted for Obama, Begich said, "I did, but that's irrelevant. "The president's not relevant. He's gone in two years."

The cold shoulder is likely a result of the close nature of the Alaska Senate race, where Begich is trailing Republican Dan Sullivan in what could be one of several contests that will determine the control of the Senate come January. Sullivan has consistently edged Begich in the final weeks of the campaign, and the HuffPost Pollster polling average currently shows the Republican with a five-point lead.

Begich isn't the only vulnerable Democrat to distance himself from the president, who remains unpopular across the country. Over in the heated Kentucky Senate race, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has repeatedly dodged questions about whether she voted for Obama.

"You know, this election isn't about the president. It's about making sure we put Kentuckians back to work," she said in her debate with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), citing a "right to privacy at the ballot box."



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