Obama ‘Surprised and Frustrated’ By Tight Massachusetts Race

Posted January 19, 2010 at 6:24pm

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday acknowledged that President Barack Obama is shocked by the closeness of the Massachusetts Senate race, and he suggested the surge of support for state Sen. Scott Brown (R) is at least partially a result of unhappiness with the economic condition of the country.

“He was surprised and frustrated,” Gibbs said in answer to a question about the president’s reaction to the nail biter contest between Brown and state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in one of the bluest states in the country.

Gibbs said there was widespread frustration with the economy, but he indicated this was understood even before the race tightened in Massachusetts. “This isn’t something that’s known simply because there’s an election in one state,” Gibbs said. “I think there’s a tremendous amount of upset and anger in this country about where we are economically.”