November 6th, 2010
11:08 AM ET
8 years ago

Losing Dem: White House is 'tone deaf'

(CNN) – Days after narrowly losing her bid for Florida governor, Democrat Alex Sink is now directing her fire at the White House.

In an interview with Politico, Sink says the White House is “tone deaf” when it comes to understanding how its actions are being greeted by the majority of Americans.

“They got a huge wake-up call two days ago, but unfortunately they took a lot of Democrats down with them,” Sink told Politico, adding, “They just need to be better listeners and be better at reaching out to people who are on the ground to hear about the realities of their policies as well as politics.”

Sink, the state’s chief financial officer, narrowly lost to Republican Rick Scott, a former health care executive who largely financed his campaign with millions of dollars of his own money.

“I faced headwinds from Washington that I liken to a tsunami and was going up against a guy who had unlimited resources,” Sink also said. “I could have overcome either one but not both.”

Sink lost her bid by about 65,000 votes, according to the latest total with 90 percent of precincts reporting.

The Florida Democrat specifically targeted the White House over its handling of the gulf oil spill last summer and its implementation of health care reform.

"I think they were tone-deaf,” she said. “They weren't interested in hearing my opinion on what was happening on the ground with the oil spill. And they never acknowledged that they had problems with the acceptance of health care reform.”

Filed under: 2010 • Alex Sink • Florida
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Chipster

    Democrats in the House and Senate abandoned the President when he needed their full support to quickly pass health care reform. Time was wasted that could have been devoted sooner to the economy. Yesterdays numbers are more proof that fiscal sanity is working, not the "tax cuts for the rich" disaster we've seen from the GOP. Democrats simply need to become better at marketing. The GOP markets fear and false information. OMG! I still heard crazy people claiming the President isn't a citizen! How do they convince people of this sort of nonsense and Democrats mumble and walk away! The truth needs to be delivered as effectively as Republican exaggerations and false information. Pat Toomey says "Corporations shouldn't pay taxes at all." and he defeats Joe Sestak – that's crazy! Republicans apologize to BP for asking them to pay for the damage and voters rush to vote for them! That's crazy! Where is the Democratic message to contradict the craziness from the right?

    November 6, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. stayintrue

    Thanks for being a stand up American Alex, regardless of party. We can only hope that this administration will begin to hear.
    I think some "shake up" in the White House might help. This President has surrounded himself with "folks" who don't want to hear the country either. They have all been on an ego trip. If he doesn't figure this out, he will go down for sure. Good luck in whatever you do.

    November 6, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. conoclast

    Ms Sink's little diatribe has the distinct odor of sour grapes.

    November 6, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. New Age Independant

    How quickly the Dems turn on each other...

    November 6, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Moosehead

    These defeated Democrats are a bunch of crybabies( see John Bohner),.. they were quite content to ride the coat tails of the Obama express a couple years ago,.. now like a bunch of cowards, they're running for the hills,.. distancing themselves from the President. There is nothing wrong with Obama,.. maybe it's you and the campaign that you ran and the total stupidity of your constituents,.. how could Florida elect a fraudulent individual like Scott,.. who defrauded the American taxpayers of billions of dollars while the CEO of Columbia Health. Quit your finger pointing and your whining you cowards, and stand behind your President.

    November 6, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. LiberalMajority

    People like this loser are exactly what the democratic party does not need. Her willingness to turn on members of her own party, when we are clearly engaged in a battle with the GOP at the present time, only make her a helper of the right. Thanks a lot, TRAITOR!

    November 6, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Indie Woman in Denver

    Of course Ms Sink had nothing to do with her loss... "Woman up" Ms Sink. it's horrendous that Rick Scott, with all of his ugly baggage won, but the least you can do is take personal responsibility, and keep up the good fight. Attacking the WH is no way to help the cause.

    November 6, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. robb

    I live in Florida and am not surprised she now turns on everyone. It's her style. I think that's why she lost – not that Rick Scott is better, it's just Sink has always been known to have a mean side.

    November 6, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Dann

    I think the saddest part of all of this is that healthcare reform is being seen as an evil thing when most Americans have no idea what was in the bill. This last September some of the earliest hitting reforms went into effect and almost all of them had to do with transparency in reporting quality indicators. (Insurance companies are next to have to publicly report how much of their premiums they spend on patient care.) Unfortunately, in a rush to satisfy the fear of the sound bite these gains in public access to what was previously closely held information will likely be thrown out. Patients deserve better information to make better decisions about who and where they will receive their care.

    November 6, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Joseph Agunbiade

    Alex Sink did little to market the white house and democrats' programs either. I think she got what she deserves.

    November 6, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. James Boyer

    I guarantee the exact same words from republicans in 6 years, after they do nothing for the middle class, and America families finally, and hopefully for the last time...get it.

    November 6, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Victor J Hayes

    According to the polls you lost because you neglected to campaign in areas like Flagler, Okaloosa, and other small rural counties that your running mate should have been campaigning in. Stop blaming the White House for your LOSS. The Obama administration helped balance Florida state budget with stimulus money - Ms Sink. Instead of standing with the President and applauding the accomplishments of the democratic agenda (Health Care Reform, Wall Street (Financial) Reform, etc.,) you turned on the President like Benedict Arnold during this election cycle. Maybe that is why you LOSS to an unindicted co-conspirator that committed medicare fraud.

    November 6, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Mike D

    So our politicians should do what we want and not what we need? If we the people know better about the economy and defense, and social issues, then what do we really need representation for? Lets just vote for what's popular and just go with it. It can be like the People's Choice Awards, we may not get anything done, but we would finally get the government we justly deserve.

    November 6, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Mark D

    Dann, as a doctor, I can say yeah, there are going to be a few people who benefit from obamacare, I mean afterall, for costing over a trillion it would be impossible not to help a couple of people. However, the harms that it has and will cause are truly frightening. For example, government now being the financier of the insurance industries means that there is no longer a Dr/Pt relationship now, it's more of a Dr/Government/Pt relationship. I gotta thank obama though, once we see the full effects of the health care bill, a lot of doctors will be leaving the field and that means excellent prices on purchasing my own practice.

    November 6, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. vic nashville tn

    She is partly right if you ask local (state) candidate who lost election they will point the finger at white house. White house got the healthcare bill (congress drag it for while) it didn’t help democrats to win the election, Many believe Health care reform was good
    It won’t help democrats till 2014 by that time it will be late

    November 6, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Dobby

    She faced "headwinds" that she likens to a "tsunami". Houston, we have a mixed metaphor problem. Perhaps her message to voters was unclear as well.

    November 6, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. johnnyr51

    I voted for ya Alex....How sad we have a convicted business owner as governor now. What a sad world...

    November 6, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Steve

    I am 46, and to be honest, I don't think I have ever seem the Democratic party stronger than it is today. They do not have a clear vision for America's future that people can understand and respect, but they do have the acceptance and respect of more American's than ever before In my opinion. Maybe Ms Sing should put more effort into developing a clear vision for our countries future, and less crying about her loss in a heavily conservative state.

    November 6, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. c gurkin

    Well it sounds like some of the people who lost know where to lay the blame anyway.

    November 6, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Bill

    Most of the White House's issues are related to mis-information spread by the dramatic opposition.

    November 6, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. eddale

    I have been a Democrat all of my adult life. I find it very amusing that so many of these losers blame their lose on President Obama. If they had given him their support instead of hiding while the republicants were attacking him he would not have had to spend all of his time defending himself. If they think his policies are so bad let them join the republicants. We real Democrats are better off without them. There is nothing wrong with the Democratic party that some grownup behavior can't solve. She lost the election because she didn't deserve to win. The people of Florida wanted an adult and she isn't qualified.

    November 6, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Kirk84

    Anyone who has ever been involved with Florida politics should know that Ms. Sink had a tough draw regardless of who was in the White House. Even though the majority of Florida voters are registered Democrats, the legislature and the cabinent have been mostly comprised of Republicans for a long time.

    November 6, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. sk fesperman

    What we need is for everyone to walk in Obama's shoes for a while. He is slaped down at every turn. It amounts to fat-cat republicans doing it because they can and Democrats that cannot stand up because they have not always lived the good and properous existence of the party. It takes courage to be president and anyone who does not understand this is just without a clue. I don't want to mention it but I must. Racism is very much alive and well. Why don't the Republicans except for the Christians in the group just go ahead and admit that the fact that we have a black president is something that should never have happened. They are having the time of their lives working against him and do not care that the county is in crisis. Just wait and see if it does not get worse now since the election of all the Replublicans. Why don't they wear their Klan robes openly. That is what it amounts to.

    God bless Obama and the USA. Someone had better get it together or we will see the fall of this great country. It is sliding fast and no one president is responsible for all the bad things that has happened to the US.

    November 6, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Dan

    Of course, her narrow defeat has nothing to do with the fact that she was caught breaking the formal debate rules. She then LIED about it, saying she thought her daughter might be trying to text her – even though the audio replay proves otherwise. It's more than sour grapes; it's a refusal to recognize and admit her own wrongdoing. I'm surprised she so critical of the Whitehouse when her behavior is so consistent with theirs.

    November 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. becket1

    Whether tone deaf is correct or not, someone needs a political adult.

    November 6, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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