WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama traveled to Delaware Friday to campaign for Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Chris Coons.
Appearing at a rally in Wilmington with Vice President Joe Biden, who formerly held the seat being contested in the Nov. 2 election, Obama called Coons an effective leader and said he has "run an extraordinary race" for U.S. Senate. Polls show Coons leading Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell but Obama warned his audience against "taking this for granted."
"This is a tough political environment right now," he said. "This is a difficult election because we've been through an incredibly difficult time as a nation."
He said if Republicans win control of Congress they would "go back to the same policies that caused this hurt in the first place."
"And I bring this up not because I want to re-litigate the past," he said. "It's because I don't want to re-live the past."
Biden said Coons "has a really genuinely keen intellect and is an incredibly bright guy."
"This guy understands the problem of struggling Americans -- those struggling to get into the middle class and those who are in the middle class barely hanging on about to slide out," Biden said. "That's what this race is all about."
Obama met at the White House Friday with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the White House said.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said the two held their first Oval Office meeting because Rice happened to be in Washington on a tour to promote her book, "Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family" -- a memoir about her parents -- The Washington Post reported.
Vietor said Obama and Rice discussed national security issues and Rice presented the president and first lady Michelle Obama with a personalized copy of her book and a young adult version of the book for the couple's children, Sasha and Malia.
The president was also scheduled to speak Friday at a Senate Democratic Campaign Committee meeting, the White House daily itinerary indicated.