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In 'Fast-Track' Pitch, Obama Ready to Fight Unions in Democratic Primaries

Obama will protect Democrats who vote for his trade agenda in party primaries. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama will protect pro-trade Democrats in party primaries against unions and others opposed to his "fast-track" trade agenda , White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.  

Earnest said the president is vowing to work hard to get Democrats on board, and that includes a vow to have their back politically. “Those who are concerned about it, I think, do take a lot of solace in knowing that they can count on the support of President Barack Obama in a Democratic primary if they need it," Earnest told reporters.  

Earnest said polls have shown "the president was the most popular, influential and well-liked figure in Democratic politics" and “the president has made very clear, both in public and in private, a willingness to stand with Democrats who stand with him on trade."  

Obama's making a lot of calls to Democrats and Earnest also pointed to the president's relationship with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., when asked about the White House's confidence they will be able to ultimately get the votes for the Trade Promotion Authority package in the House.  

"We’re not expecting to lose it," Earnest said, although he cautioned that there's still a lot of work to do before the vote.  

Related: 'Fast-Track' Trade Vote in Flux, but Backers Are Confident See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.