House Democrats Furious with President Barack Obama Over Lack of Support for Reelection Campaigns
Ahead of mid-term elections, Democrats say Obama hogs credit for their work.
July 15, 2010— -- Anger is mounting on Capitol Hill, directed at President Obama. But this time, it's not coming from Republicans -- it's coming from members of the president's own party.
After months of growing frustration, Congressional Democratic leaders exploded this week, saying the president isn't giving them the support they need ahead of the coming mid-term elections, despite their tough work on his behalf.
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White House spokesman Robert Gibbs lit the fuse with a comment suggesting that Democrats could lose the House of Representatives when voters head to the polls in November.
"I opened my mouth and stated the obvious," Gibbs said, defending himself on Monday.
But many House Democrats thought Gibbs' remarks were an attempt by the White House to distance itself from an impending loss, and they didn't appreciate it.
"I think the comment was unfortunate," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,D-Calif., told reporters Thursday. Democrats said Pelosi voiced much frustration about the remark during a closed-door meeting of the Democratic caucus Tuesday night.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fl), who has a leadership role with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in working to ensure freshmen Democrats are re-elected, said Gibbs' comments did not make her happy -- and were "completely wrong. We're not going to lose the House of Representatives," she said.
Gibbs' comments seemed to have lit a fuse prompting even larger gripe sessions among House Democrats on Tuesday and with the president himself on Wednesday evening, where they aired a number of complaints.
One Democratic lawmaker explained the frustration, telling ABC News, "There's a general sense, and it goes back for a while, that Obama has a general thrust of 'We've got to do tough things' and then he says to Congress, 'OK, you guys go do that.'"