September 30th, 2010
04:52 PM ET
4 years ago

Sources: top Democrats want an aggressive Obama on the trail

(CNN) - Democratic congressional leaders used a White House strategy session Thursday to push President Barack Obama to be more aggressive in helping them campaign in the final weeks before November's elections, multiple senior Democratic sources familiar with the meeting tell CNN.

According to the sources, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the president that congressional Democrats want to see more of the kind of campaign rally and rhetoric he displayed this week in Wisconsin. They said they especially want him to continue to make the case - and the contrast with Republicans - on jobs and the economy.

The president said he would, and signaled that there are other campaign events in the works beyond the handful that have already been announced, according to the sources.

"Members wanted to hear directly from the president," one of the sources tells CNN.

Another source familiar with the meeting said the message from Pelosi and other Democratic leaders was that "you are good on the stump, get out there, we need it."

A third source said Democratic leaders told him that "Wisconsin was good. More please."

A fourth source familiar with the meeting said Democratic leaders discussed with the president the need to focus on the party's base and make sure it's revved up. But, the source added, the lawmakers also told him that "we can't forget about the independents."

Several of the sources insisted the tone of the meeting, attended by both House and Senate Democratic leaders, was not hostile.

Congressional Democratic sources have told CNN lawmakers were frustrated throughout the summer that the White House was not aggressive enough in helping them make the case for Democrats' policies. They were especially concerned that the president had not been talking enough about economy, the number one issue this election year.

"Whatever minor disagreements people may have had in the past, people have moved past those and agreed to do whatever we need to do to bring as many members back as possible," insisted one of the senior Democratic sources.

Although Obama's popularity has dipped, Democrats say they still believe that when he is "on" - like they believe he was in Wisconsin this week - he is their best campaign advocate and spokesman against the Republicans.

"If we let the other side take control of Congress, they'll spend the next two years fighting to preserve tax breaks for companies that create jobs and profits overseas - billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies that we lose each year," Obama said earlier this week, with his sleeves rolled up.

Two of the sources familiar with Thursday's White House meeting say the president pressed Democratic leaders to pass the stalled child nutrition bill, a priority for the first lady.

House Democrats are holding that up because some of the new provisions are being paid for with money that had been slated for food stamps.


Filed under: Democrats • President Obama
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. cane pazzo

    If unemployment was at its normal historical levels the republithugs would be toast. People are angry so the Dems are taking the heat even though it's the republithugs that have blocked the changes Obama promised during the campaign.

    Don't be stupid. Go to the polls on November 2nd and vote for your OWN interests not what some paid crook tells you.

    The vast majority of republithugs are scum – if you give them another chance, all I can say is bend over.

    September 30, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. No Tea For Me

    CNN please do a fact check and let everyone know that keep using the word socialist when referring to President that they are following Joe the plumber. Joe the plumber used the word after he asked President Obama a question in Ohio during the 2008 campaign. I remember it well when Joe the non plumber said President Obama's response sounded like socialism. Palin used it during the campaign of 2008 when referring to President Obama and it caught on. We really have some brainwashed people using the term and they have no idea what it means.

    September 30, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. Liz the First

    Obama and all the Dems need to come out with all guns blazing and show the American people exactly what going back to repug rule will do to this country. they need to fight fear with fear. the truth about the repug agenda is enough to scare the bejesus out of anyone with a half a brain cell working. when you have trouble putting out a big fire, do you call the arsonists who set it to help you put it out? no, you call in more fire companies. it says nothing good about our country that there are so many morons out there who think Obama is a socialist, muslim, hitler wannabe. if the decent, sane people give up now and don't get out and vote to continue the recovery, we're sunk!

    September 30, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I believe they want Obama to scream: WE KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU SO GET USED TO IT! Me thinks the people are not going to buy that no matter how it is packaged. The Democrats put all those Social Programs in place starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt and everything was supposed to be fixed by now. So why you ask are we still in such a mess. Can anybody say 1930's re-visited.

    September 30, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  5. D. Bunker

    Obama is far smarter than the current crop of GOBP cultists, though he's too right-center for my tastes. In any case, all he has to do is remind voters of the new GOBP motto: "If you liked the ditch we drove America into last time, you're gonna LOVE the canyon we're aiming for now!"

    September 30, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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