Dem Congressman: ‘Do We Deserve to Lead?’

By Matt Loffman

Jan 27, 2010 1:47pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Laying out the stakes for President Obama tonight, Rep. Joe Sestak, a Democratic congressman running for Senate in Pennsylvania, told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today that the president needs to start his party down a leadership path. “I think what the president has to do is make sure that everybody has to look at themselves in the Democratic Party. Do we deserve to lead?” Sestak, D-Pa., told us. “We haven’t led here in the Congress over the past year. People came down here thinking Democrats had been given a mandate. They weren’t — they were given an opportunity to lead. So I think the president has to say we are going to change Washington, not just the policies but the politics. “He’s got to make that very clear, because if any message came out of Massachusetts, that was it. Why should Democrats lead if we haven’t changed the lack of transparency and accountability?” Sestak also said the president hasn’t done enough yet to spur job creation, or to control government spending: “He absolutely has to talk about how to do job creation. Not in the typical way of just more money in construction. What are those small business tax cuts that can get Main Street businesses – ‘business’ is not a bad word — going again?” Sestak said. “And third, I don’t think he can just talk about a debt and addressing it by one-sixth of the budget trying to control, or a commission. Let’s step up to the plate and have courage. How are we going to address entitlement spending? This nation is looking for courage in the leadership, and I think that’s most important.”

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