2014-03-01T000224Z_1_CBREA1R15R200_RTROPTP_2_USA-HEALTHCARE

Obama preaches unity to Democrats at winter meeting

By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fiery President Barack Obama on Friday attempted to rally Democratic activists to overcome stiff headwinds and work hard for the party’s congressional candidates this year in an election-year speech that was sharply critical of Republicans. The president addressed the winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee in Washington with the aim of maintaining a spirit of unity among party activists. Democrats are trying to face down emboldened Republicans who see a chance of capturing the Senate and building on their majority in the House of Representatives. Invoking Democratic heroes such as John Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Obama told party faithful that Democrats can win “if we stay focused on what we believe in.” All 435 members of the House and a third of the 100-member Senate are up for grabs in November elections.

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