North Dakota Democrat tries to scrub pro-Obama past

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April 24, 2012

North Dakota’s Democratic Senate nominee is working hard to erase her pro-Obama past as she campaigns in the solidly red state.

Former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign has downplayed her previous praise for Obamacare and even the president himself, telling USA Today that she would be "an independent voice."

But her past comments paint a picture of an enthusiastic Obama supporter.

A video taken at the 2008 Democratic National Convention shows Heitkamp, who served as North Dakota’s attorney general from 1993-2001, telling a liberal activist that Obama is "going to be amazing."

"I think we’re on our way to a better United States in the next eight years," she said to Democratic National Committeeman Chad Nodland.

Nodland pulled the video from Youtube after the National Republican Senatorial Committee brought it to public attention.

Nodland, a North Dakota attorney, is now trying to charge the NRSC money for his copyrighted work, according to the Daily Caller.

Heitkamp says she had nothing to do with its removal.

Heitkamp’s praise for Obama was equally passionate in 2010, even as his push for health care reform alienated independent voters. She urged Democrats to hold the line, gushing over Obama, the late Ted Kennedy, and the bravery of Obamacare supporters.

"We have to continue to defend our very, very, very courageous congressional delegation," she said. "This is a legacy vote, this a vote they will look back on and their children will look back on and they will say, my red-state-Democrat grandpa or great-grandpa voted for that bill because it made sense."

Heitkamp later claimed that she has a long list of complaints about Obamacare—though she was unable to identify a single item, according to Politico.

She has tempered her opinion about Obama on the campaign trail, dodging questions at a townhall meeting about whether she would vote for the president in 2012, before finally giving an unenthusiastic "sure."

Heitkamp is running to replace retiring Democrat Kent Conrad in the Senate. John McCain beat Obama by nearly 10 points in the state in 2008.