Obama adviser David Axelrod said politics were at the heart of West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's comments this week that he was on the fence about voting for the president.
"I think he was very candid there. His concern is about his own political well being. He's running for the Senate in that state. We didn't win the state the last time. It's going to be a tough state for us again, and he's making a political judgment about himself," Axelrod said on CNN's State of the Union.
Last week, in an interview with National Journal, Manchin did not outright condemn Obama, but he did say that he'll "look at the options" this fall, adding that "I'm worried about me."
"I've said it's not a team sport. You need to go out and work for yourself," Manchin said.
On Sunday, Axelrod indicated he understands the political pressure to distance oneself from Obama, but said he hopes Manchin will back Obama.
"I would hope that the country's interests will enter into [his choice] as well, and that ultimately he will be supporting the president," he said.