September 28th, 2010
01:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama scolds 'irresponsible' Dems

(CNN) – Joe Biden isn't the only member of the Obama White House frustrated with the Democratic base.

So is the big man himself.

In his lengthy Rolling Stone interview, President Obama took the opportunity to express deep frustration with the low enthusiasm among Democratic voters this election cycle amid charges he has fallen short on a string of campaign promises.

"It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election," the president told the magazine.

Obama went on to describe his administration as the "most successful in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward," and said it was flat out "irresponsible" for Democrats to stay home on Election Day.

"The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible," he said. "Everybody out there has to be thinking about what's at stake in this election."

Obama's direct admonishment was published a day after the vice president turned heads when he told Democrats at a New Hampshire fundraiser that the base of the party needs to "stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives."

Obama's comments came as the president heads to four states this week in an effort to drum up excitement among voters who flocked to the polls for him in 2008 and remind them of his administration's accomplishments. To that end, Obama said he keeps a list of fulfilled campaign promises. The president claimed 70 percent of them have been met.

Democratic discontent has grown more palpable over the last several months as Obama has been forced to fend off charges that, among other things, he was too eager to compromise on health care, hasn't pushed hard enough for gay rights, and is advancing the same foreign policies as the hawkish Bush administration.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that only 30 percent of Democrats are enthusiastic about the looking midterm elections, as opposed to 53 percent of Republicans.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Reality

    "most successful in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward," Er...umm. That is why nobody is excited. Why would someone get excited (in this country anyway) about the destruction of the freedoms of U.S. citizens being crushed under the massive taxation to fuel a socialised government?

    September 28, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Dennis

    I think we are seeing the real Obama and he's not all that charismatic. He pouts when things don't go his way. He needs to grow up.

    September 28, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. The reality is...

    We definitely are thinking about what is at stake in this election: vote for Republicans and there's a chance the country may be restored or vote for Democrats and seal it's fate as a third world nation or worse. Does Obama still not realize that we will not tolerate the radical changes he is trying to force on this nation?

    September 28, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. crush

    Its about time the Obama administration made some health care reform promotions to support the bill. This should have been done the day the bill was signed into law. The GOP propaganda is winning over the hearts of the voters. Its a sad time in America when we turn back to those who harmed us for help. Sad

    September 28, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. anthony

    America doesnt deserve Obama as a President. He is the leader of the intelligent and the common sensical. Unfortunately America isnt this type of country. Its blue collar cowboy conservatism. Bible thumping war mongering bully on the block.
    Its not that Obama is doing a bad job, its that the idiots outnumber the intelligent, and have no clue what is good or bad for them, just what the screaming voices from the right fill their empty heads with. Raise my son abroad, unpatriotic? Maybe, but raise my son with intelligence, and an open mind toward other cultures, ethnicities, or religions, I'd be doing the rest of the world a favor.

    Sincerely,
    Anthony (army vet, college grad, hard working tax payer)

    September 28, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. Greg

    Democrats are no different from Repuplican supports...they are just as dumb and forgetful. To think that anyone would be interested in voting for Republicans on a 8 yr (Bush – Republican) 2yr (Obama – Dem) split in the office is incredible. It shows how fickle, dumb, and inpatient we are as a society. Bush took 8yrs to kill the economy while making corporations rich and somehow Obama was supposed to clean it up in 2yrs. Vote Republican and watch how nothing gets done and more people suffer as the rich get richer and the middle class becomes the new poor.

    September 28, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. lorriedk

    Who are they polling???? The Democrats I know (in several states) are working gung ho on GOTV for November. The stakes are too high to sit this one out. Many are energized by the tea partiers in our midsts as we watch experienced, honest, hard working candidates bashed by opponents who wouldn't even get a job interview if these were private sector jobs. We are patriots, too, and we will vote in November. We just don't get any notice in the mainstream news.

    September 28, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. John

    "...and while I am at it. Go out and find a job. Then give 25% of your wages to the jobless. Buy health care or you will be fine...never mind about Grandma. We are no longer in Iraq. Except 60 plus K. Me, Me Me,...."

    September 28, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Sagebrush Shorty

    "It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election," the president told the magazine. That's what's great about America, we can stand wherever we please. Face facts Mr. President, you are the reason for their attitude.

    September 28, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. jake

    The Democrates had better out and vote or we might end up with a bunch of idiots like Palin.

    September 28, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. Dave

    I can understand Democrats being frustrated that things haven't gotten fixed faster, but Bush screwed this country up so badly that it's going to take a long time to repair the damage.

    And I'm not happy with the Democrats, but I'm still not about to let a bunch of Republicans get control again. They have become a radicalized theocratic party, and theocracy has destroyed every country that's ever tried it. No thank you, I'll stick with the imperfect Dems before I let Republicans back in. I'm not voting for Dems, especially, I'm voting AGAINST Republicans, and that's more than enough to motivate me!

    September 28, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Orlando Patriot

    So when Obama says "It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election" is that because there is still just a small PART of the country he hasn't ruined yet? So when he said he wanted to "fundamentally change our country" he meant he did not want it to even SURVIVE his four years in office? This country is literally on the verge of surviving and I think enough people recognize that stopping this catastrophe of an administration is a requirement if we are to have ANY resemblance to the great country we once grew up in where those that work hard succeed and those that do not work hard fail.

    September 28, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. Massachusetts Independent Voice

    In the interview with Rolling Stone (humm, didn;t we see Mcchrystal in here) the president scolded Democrats and lambasted Fox News. In recent weeks he sued the state of Arizona; blasted Michael Steele; labeled the GOP the problem why he has been unable to fix the economy; and blamed President Bush for everything else.

    I for one do not need a finger pointer and whiner in the oval office. I need a leader with the ability to build consensus; work across the aisle; and do what is best for America. If this is all we have to look forwrad to now, when the GOP takes over the Senate majority and perhaps the House as well, Obama might as well resign and go home to Chicago. Maybe he could challenge Emmanuel for the city's mayoral position.

    September 28, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. ehwilson429

    we need to start callin thos old scold. Auntie Obama.his first job with any accountability.

    September 28, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Paul from Phoenix

    Wow, the wheels are coming off...

    September 28, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. stormerF

    Just what the Base needs,Obama and Biden confusing the fact the voters are not apathatic but discouraged about the current agenda of the President.

    September 28, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. jeff, alabama

    Do you still not understand why he is called an elitist ?
    Look at the leaders in socialist countries and you will see
    the same arrogant scolding of their citizens. If you disagree
    with Obama, then you must be ignorant .
    That's the persona of the Maos, Stalins, Castros, and Chevezs.

    September 28, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. 52 Pick Up

    I am so sick of this arrogant administration–and I'm a democrat!

    September 28, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. Who's A Whiner

    Scolding the Democrats for whining and complaining???? Please, WHO has been complaining and whining ever since HE took office! I inherited this mess, it's Bush's fault, it's the Republican's fault, etc. are the complaints we have heard ever since the beginning of his Presidency. Mr. President, you are a leader and you need to rally the PEOPLE and stop blaming, whining and complaining yourself!!! Stop the arrogance and get on with it because we need someone to lead this country back to it's greatness.

    September 28, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Obama went on to describe his administration as the "most successful in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward,"

    Translation: Obama's is the most nearly socialist administration in American history, eclipsing even FDR's.

    What this idiot fails to understand is that even most Democrats don't want socialism!

    September 28, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. SayWhat

    The man is right. He is not a magician, but he has moved the ball forward in many areas, in the midst of the wost economic climate in eighty years and in the face of the concerted effort of the GOP to thwart his every action, for their own political aims. There is no going back to the "leaders" and policies that almost brought America to its knees. Think a little bit before you pull that lever.

    September 28, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Stuf this

    As long as there are republicans, it will not be easy to move our country forward. Jim DeMint and his cronies from "C" Street have decided it is better to have America move toward becoming a third world country, than debating issues and voting your conscience. We have DeMint and the Bush/Cheny republican culture of corruption to blame for taking us to the brink of a great depression. How could a sane person justify the Republican's unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy, unfunded drug programs, largest growth in government in modern history, bank bailouts, deregulation, voting against health reform which lowers the deficit, voting against every job creation measure, and refusing to fund our servicemen?

    September 28, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. "I Want My Country Back" Libs Go Home

    OK, let me get this straight......this is what great leaders do??? When things don't go their way they; 1. Blame the Choir 2. Blame the former leader...."Bush did it" 3. Attack the only one who is reporting the truth....Fox News!
    It is amazing but really simply exposes Obambi's true colors; he has 99% of all the media slobbering over him and yet the 1% who reports the truth, he attacks! Why? Because there is nothing else he can do! He has no agenda of which he and his cronies can run on......he has no plans other than growing a bigger government. But the saddest thing of all is he and all the left liberal Dems believe the American public is stupid and too dumb to think for ourselves! All Obambi has had experience with is his "community organizing" skills, where he pointed out entitlement programs to uneducated, illegal, and ignorant minorities and thus he has concluded the American public fits into that one mold! Why else would anyone be so out of touch!

    September 28, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Dean

    Obama is frustrated with the low enthusiasm among Dem voters. Maybe voters are frustrated with the low enthusiasm among Dem congressmen who pass bills without knowing what is in them.

    September 28, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Janet Moses

    Scolds ? That's kind of a loaded word. What he did was implore his base to keep up the fight and not fall prey to the media bias that skews his every action and word in a negative light. How about "challenges" or something to that effect ? Lets not add to the Republican propaganda machine....

    September 28, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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