Sen. Nelson: Obama's made mistakes
September 2nd, 2011
05:22 PM ET
7 years ago

Sen. Nelson: Obama's made mistakes

(CNN) - When Democrats start distancing themselves from their incumbent president, it's either a sign of the times or a look to the future, but either way, it isn't good.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson handily called President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden "friends," at a press conference Thursday, but hesitated when asked whether he'd campaign with the president in 2012.

And according to the Miami Herald, he even admitted he may not see eye-to-eye with all of the commander-in-chief's decisions.

"The president and vice president are my friends. They're my former colleagues. Clearly, the president has made some mistakes," Nelson said.

Nelson will seek a third term in the Senate as Obama seeks re-election. Traditionally, congressional candidates in the same party of an incumbent president get a boon from co- stumping with the POTUS.

But at a time when Obama's national approval rating has fallen-and in the critical state of Florida it's shaky at best-it may be safest not to hitch a re-election wagon to the president.

Florida broke narrowly for the president in 2008, and Nelson will face Republican Attorney General Jon Bruning in his battle for re-election–making him one of the more vulnerable members of the Senate.

Democrats currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate and will defend 23 seats including two independents who caucus with the party. Republicans will defend 10 seats in 2012 and attempt to overtake the Democratic majority.

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Nelson • Florida • President Obama
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Rickster

    Nobody in their right mind would campaign with, be seen with or vote for Obama for another's going to take us years to undo the damage that clown has done in his first term.

    September 2, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Sandy

    And what mistakes might they be? I see you're trying to distance yourself now because of Obama's approval ratings. If his rating increase before the election, what will you say then?

    September 2, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Ed Texas

    Obama has made mistakes but not as many as the Repubs, the party of "no." Republicans do not want to take responsibility or admit their many mistakes, especially for the major role they got us in this eonomic mess. with their off-budgets wars and ill-advised tax cuts from the Dubya Bush era. Now, we have Obama trying to clean up their mess!

    September 2, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. ted

    OK, Obama has made some mistakes. I accept that. But what are you doing Nelson to assist? Anything? I think we can agree being president is a difficult job and you will never please everyone. But I certainly think Obama is doing a good job vs the last administration in which I just waited day by day for the horror, incompetency, lies, torture, insane wars and all the rest of the crap of Cheney and Rumsfeld to come to a close. Life has been much better in the US and the world since 1/20/09 when Obama took over from the criminals of the Bush administration.

    September 2, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. RobertFTL

    Name the mistakes? What one thing has he done to destroy the economy?

    September 2, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Ross

    I think you have the wrong Senator Nelson when you refer to his GOP opponent.

    September 2, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    [Nobody in their right mind would campaign with, be seen with or vote for Obama for another's going to take us years to undo the damage that clown has done in his first term.]

    But it took eight years to get us there BEFORE his term and in 2 1/2 years THIS President prevented a DEPRESSION!!!

    I hate it when DEMOCRATS "distance" themselves from each other. The Republicans – no matter how WRONG they are – they "stick together" on their WRONG agendas. Democrats always "break at the seams" and want to "jump ship" when the going gets tough. And I agree with Sandy – when President Obama's approval ratings were UP – you did not hear from Nelson!! His ASH should be "kicked to the curb" and President Obama "should not" campaign for him at all!!!

    I see the BIG PICTURE and I will continue to support our President!!!

    September 2, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Bighedfred

    The Democrats are running like rats from a sinking ship!

    How's that for a "Black Cloud"

    September 2, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. reaper081087

    GIVE OBAMA A BREAK!!! The 8 years of the Bush dynasty has brought this economy to the way it is! this economic mess has been build up 8 YEARS!!! YOU CAN'T EXPECT TO FIX IT UP IN 2!!! I GIVE ONE MORE CHANCE TO OBAMA/BIDEN FOR 2012!!! I suggest all Americans smarten up and do so too! You can't rely on clowns like the bimbo from Alaska, the Mormon from Massechusets (pardon me for misspelling), or the crazy Sarah Palin-wannabe from Minnesota!

    September 2, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Cali liberal

    Obama is a joke,loser, and most of all a dud.. He reminds me of that $250 firework you drive all the way to S.F. for. Only to light the fuse the thing just...well nothing. As a progressive in cali I would work hard to defeat obama.... Spineless coward... Primary obama 2012!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Sevres Blue

    Yup. Well.. it's Florida. Enough said. Obama's made mistakes, but NOT as many as Florida has. Remember the Bush election? Florida holds no sway with me.

    September 2, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Sevres Blue

    Also, yes... please name the 'mistakes'.... And shall we stack up his mistakes against any other president's?

    September 2, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Mary

    Are you kidding me..he is a human being trying his best to help the American public...all while fighting the ridiculous..and greedy and arrogant.. GOP party....!!! He isn't a magician..just an honest man trying to do the right thing..HE HAS MY VOTE IN 2012...

    September 2, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Polymath

    Nelson, along with Republicans Richard Shelby, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Orin Hatch are in collusion to keep a NASA gravy train into their states. They want antiquated shuttle technology going into the SLS, Space Launch System (or Senate Launch System as many call it.) It is a system that costs too much has no specific purpose, and will not work. Obama wants to let all the shuttle related technology die so that NASA can design a clean sheet heavy lifter in 2015. These 4 don't care anything about NASA success, they just want the pork continuing to flow into their states for the time being. Nelson is ticked at Obama for trying to set NASA on a prudent fiscal path. The Tea Party is ticked at Shelby, Hutchison, and Hatch for being porkers. This whole thing is about pork (not) coming home.

    September 2, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Hot Dog

    Why is it that the Republicans stick together regardless of the issue and Democrats fail to tow the line on issues. What President have not made mistakes. That's will happen and it is also part of being a human being. I have never seen the office of the President disrespected or any POTUS disrespected lik this President but I guess that is not a mistake. If you are suppose to be a friend or colleague why haven't you talked about this in a public forum? I have yet to hear you take a stand against what the Republicans are currently doing. I guess you can not see your own mistakes

    September 2, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    Obama's only mistake is not realizing how desperate and disingenuous the GOP/tee-buggers would be. Nobody could have predicted the GOP/tee-buggers would betray their country for the sake of trying to win an election.

    September 2, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  17. Indy

    Obama has made some mistakes and is man enough to admit that he has made mistakes and man enough to look at alternative solutions. Republicans are a flat out mistake that has purposely done everything in their power to destroy the economy and Bush started by blowing the surplus and it went downhill from there, and that is not blame, it is a FACT that any economist will tell you. I will give the Republicans some credit because they come up with lies and stick together even if it hurts the country, they are lockstep and stick to blaming absolutley everything about the worldwide recession on Obama and sometimes that crap sticks and they fool people with their united lies.

    September 2, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. LegendRx

    America are bursting at the seams with losers, from the house to the senate, all are losers. Obama is the only one with since. A true leader. His leadership is so beyond the scoop of america with her conventional and out dated intellect. Blame the black guy for Corporate greed, lies and the republican party pissing on the middle glass leg like a filthy mangy dog while we the people stand around watching our lives crumble right before our very eyes. What happened to America and its dreams. We achieved the ultimate of dreams in 2008, only to have the republican party try to turn it into a nightmare. Due to relentless hatred and bigotry. The republican party is telling America, The american dream was just meant to be an Idea, a con, the infamous virtual carrot chase. Obama was not suppose to catch that rabbit.

    September 2, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. CCMars

    Until Nelson, his fellow Democrats and pretty much all Republicans in the government grow the f*ck up and start thinking of solutions, I'm not listening to a damn thing they say. They insult children by acting like children.

    Echoing some comments here: Where the hell was Nelson when President Obama's approval rating was up and the Republican blocking shenanigans were going on? Where were the rest of the Democrats when all this was going on? Why do you, Democrats, jump ship at the first sign of trouble? Where are the sane Republicans to call the rest of their party out on their nonsense? No words can describe how angry I am with all of them.

    September 2, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. michaelam

    Who cares what Ben Nelson says?! He's a Blue Dog Democrat; he's Republican lite! Moreover, Sen. only spews his drivel to cover his own culo and retain his Senate seat. He will face a challenger from the Teahadist Klan. Good luck, Benny Boy!

    September 2, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Wrong Nelson

    Great fact checking... CNN is usually pretty good, but they're talking about the wrong Senator Nelson later in the piece and Senator BILL Nelson is currently set to win re-election quite easily. Not vulnerable as suggested.

    September 2, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. once upon a horse

    @ Rickster,,,,

    poor Obama is trying to STILL undue the damage Bush did in his two terms. People like you don't want to accept it, but had Obama NOT done any type of stimulus when he got into office where would the economy be then?

    September 2, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. A Kickin` Donkey

    You are pandering sir. I caution you not to get too far out in front one this. The President will have a strong base of support that will PUNISH those that do him wrong.

    The Republican party doesn`t tolerate disloyalty and it would be a mistake for you to think we will.

    We all know the President has faced difficult times and conditions and we all know why. That doesn`t translaTe into us allowing you to ride on his back . . . not even a little bit!

    September 2, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. WDinDallas

    One thing is for sure, we're screwed. Both sides say it will take another decade to fix our economy. I need to find another place to live. AMF.

    September 2, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. E G30

    Obama has done more for this country in 2.5 yrs than any other president in modern history. None of the haters can tell you what mistakes he's made but they can tell you that he's screwing up. The dems need to stop being cowards and stick together to get there message across. Instead of acting like they have no message.

    September 2, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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