Sen. Nelson: Obama's made mistakes
September 2nd, 2011
05:22 PM ET
3 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. Mike kerns

    This is the #1 problem for the Democratic party. We never rally for our causes but we sure do retreat at the first sign of trouble. The only thing I respect about the right wing is they do rally behind there leaders regardless how bad they are. How can we complain Obama has no backbone when we Democrats do not stand up even for ourselves?

    September 2, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. SecedingfromTexas

    What's the saying – "with friends like this..........." Too bad, Nelson, you just made a bigger mistake. Respect you? I
    don't think so.

    September 2, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Greg

    T'sah- Republicans distanced themselves as far as they could from Bush, because they knew he was wrong. Democrats like Kucinich and Nelson and likely more to follow are distancing themselves from Obama because they know he is wrong. As for what mistakes he's made, there's too many to list here, but here's a select few. He failed to implement any effective economic policies, and by most accounts, extended the recession and added to unemployment. He added debt at the highest rate in history. He ignored the proper procedure and protocol his position demanded on more than one occasion, most notably, sending the military into combat without consulting Congress. He seems to be unaware of the limitations of his office, and of the federal government in general. His health care plan is a massive infringement on personal economic liberty, and a huge over reach of federal authority. As I said there are many more, but I'm not writing a dissertation here. To sum up, he has failed as a President, and his party knows it.

    September 2, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. TEA PARTY Mike

    Obama's approval ratings are very low, espcially on his preformance on jobs and the economy. As long as these ratings remain low, Democrats up for re-election will keep their distance from Obama.
    Obama also knows he has lost the vote of the independent swing voters. Without their support in 2012 Obama will loose. To win them back Obama will move to the right and anger his base even more. This will however also run the risk of a lower turnout from his progressive base. Very tough spot for Obama. In 2008 when Obama said he wanted to transform America, progressives envisioned a progressive transformation and indpendents envisioned a much more moderate version. That mix will not exist for Obama in 2012.
    Progressive policies just do not sell in America. The US is a center right nation. A majority of independent swing voters are fiscal conservatives. Progressives simply can not stay in power if they insist on big government tax and spend progrssive policies.

    September 2, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. jane

    Distance yourself from the teaparty/repubs.....Then you shall win

    September 2, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    the Bush tax cuts added 1.7 TRILLION dollars to the deficit. So much for the job creators getting tax breaks and hiring people huh? If the Democrats such as Nelson had any SPINE they would not only campiagn with this president but help point out the GOP plan to ruin the economy just to help get them back in power. I bet those in the auto industry would have little problem backing this president. Has he made mistakes? YES he has...one in my opinion was going so hard on Healthcare at first instead of jobs, but you look at what the GOP has to offer and that ALONE should make senator want to come out and back his friend. What kind of real friend will not back you when you really need them.

    September 2, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Little Jimmy Truth

    Nelson, you made right decision. Great job.

    September 2, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Elaine

    The last thing the president and the Democratic party need right now is more open division.I think that all differences of opinion whether in congress, or other sources should be expressed behind closed doors, or through some private channel or means.All open negativity does is further erode confidence in the public, and will hurt the president and all Democrats.I think that despite everything, Barack Obama is the best hope for this country.I don't think that those who are disappointed want to help Rick Perry or Mitt Romney get elected , and implement a backwards, destructive agenda for America.

    September 2, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Ron

    I'm voting for Obama!

    September 2, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Squigman

    Republicans are perfect. Just ask one.

    September 2, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Lisa P

    If Obama's "mistakes" according to Nelson include giving too much say to the Tea Party affiliates then I have to agree with him. Other than that Nelson seems to be playing the GOP's game, which cannot possibly end well for him. If Nelson can't find a single positive thing to say about Democratic policies and priorities perhaps he should step aside for a candidate who can.

    September 2, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Sorensen

    No backbone, no commitment, no class, no nothing. Classic, irrelevant, useless politician.
    Go home and get lost.

    September 2, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Bill

    You liberal loons will never see the light no matter how dark things get. In the face of economic meltdown, you keep going back to calling the GOP the party of NO and blaming Bush for everything. Now you're asking what mistakes Obama has made? Are you that blind? Let's start with Obamacare. Every company that's been surveyed said the new health care law will cost them more to operate. Hence, no hiring of new workers. New law the EPA was to enforced on emission would have caused 7million jobs over 10 years. This came from all think tank in Washington. That's why Obama had to put the new law on hold in light of bad economic news today. The DoJ under his administration just announced today they're going after 17 major banks in courts. That news alone caused the financial sector to drag down the market even further. All this may play to the far left's view, and Obama's believe in "JUSTICE", but what it actually does is destroying the economy. If after three years of this hasn't awaken you liberals to reality, then nothing will.

    September 2, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. CBREEZE

    Wow! Nelson! You are going for your 3rd term? And what corporations do you have in your back pocket? Or, er, aaa, what Republicans are in your back pocket? ALL OF CONGRESS IS CORRUPT and you are part of the problem Nelson! And I'm sure you have NEVER MADE A MISTAKE! (Sarcasm, wink)

    September 2, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Joe

    Republican's may be the party of No (no tax increases for example) but Democrats are the party of No Jobs and I know which hurts Americans more

    September 2, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. U. S. A.

    I support our President.

    September 2, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Terry TX

    Yes, Dems need to get a spine. They let the Repubs off the hook way too freakin' much. All the blame going to Obama is such a farce. I'd like to see what would happen to this country if it's handed back to who got us here in the first place. How are those tax breaks working for ya all? Perry is out of the question; we'd never think of offloading him on America!

    September 2, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. Tired of the nonsense

    Mistakes? Of course he's made mistakes! That means he's working!

    Mistakes are made by everyone, but Obama has not committed criminal acts like the Bush administration did.

    The biggest mistake I can see Obama's made so far is that he hasn't arrested Bush and the rest of the Bush Administration and had them tried at the Hague for treason or sent to Leavenworth for violating their oaths of office, violating civil liberties and going against the Constitution of the United States.

    September 2, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  19. Tired of the nonsense

    Hey, Nelson, unlike your tv-named counterpart, you can't have Jeannie cross her arms and blink her eyes and make Americans believe your lies.

    September 2, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Hammerer

    How can you say that obama made mistakes? Everyone knew that he was a fake to start.

    September 2, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. AlaskaPalin

    Obama the liquidator overseeing the winding down of the business called 'America'!

    September 2, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Reggie from LA

    Is that Bill "Blue Dog" Nelson, opening his mouth? Where's he been since is last betrayal. Dems, you've watched a man for all people do his best to move us forward and watched Republicans lie and steal. These people are not weaklings. They have clout, money and a host of hateful dummies putting up quite a fight against our President who has tried to service us well. And what do we do? We act like Blue Dogs ourselves, turning on the guy who's fighting the good fight. Thanks cowards. Especially Bill Nelson and his ilk. GOP reps will go to their lying graves supporting BS. We turn traitor anytime our president can't get a bill passed thru reasonable means. Better take a look at his accomplishments while we whine about what he didn't get done. Maybe if we had turned out at the polls at the midterms, hmmm?

    September 2, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Let's look at mistakes. Mistakes are only noticed when it's revealed there was a mistake that needs to be corrected and if something isn't broken you don't fix it, you let it stay as it is. Just keeping it real people and think about it.

    September 2, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  24. Ray

    Floridian? If you want to dismantle Social security and Medicare vote a republican president

    September 2, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. d

    I agree about the dems but do not think it is coming apart at the seems...i like that they think for themselves and bicker even...at least they are honest about it. i have had enough of the stepford gop!

    September 2, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
1 2 3