Hagan steers clear of Obama in North Carolina
January 15th, 2014
11:21 AM ET
7 months ago

Hagan steers clear of Obama in North Carolina

Updated 1:32 p.m. ET, 1/15/2014

(CNN) - In what may be a sign to come for the midterm elections, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who faces a tough re-election battle this year, stayed far away from President Barack Obama's visit to her home state on Wednesday.

And Republicans didn't let the snub go unnoticed.

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers, released a new web video Wednesday, labeling Hagan and Obama as best friends because of their support for the Affordable Care Act.

The ad blasts Hagan for repeating what's been dubbed Obama's "lie of the year": the President's broken pledge that if people liked their health care insurance, they'd be able to keep it under Obamacare.

"While her buddy Barack is in North Carolina, she's back in Washington, hiding out," the narrator says.

Obama traveled to North Carolina to highlight his administration's steps to bolster the manufacturing sector.

But with the President's approval rating dipping in recent months amid the bungled launch of HealthCare.gov, it's not a big surprise that a vulnerable Democrat in a Republican leaning state would want to keep her distance.

Hagan's office said the senator decided to stay in Washington because the Senate is in session on Wednesday. Responding to the web video from Americans for Prosperity, Hagan's campaign communications director, Sadie Weiner, called it "another political attack from a shadowy outside group that has no accountability to North Carolinians."

"Just like she’s always been, Kay is focused on doing her job today," Weiner said, adding her work this week includes "voting on a bill to avoid a government shutdown, and attending an Armed Services Committee briefing on Iraq and Syria."

At the top of his speech Wednesday, Obama acknowledged lawmakers who attended the event, including Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

"Your Senator, Kay Hagan, couldn't be here, but I wanted to thank her publicly for the great work she's doing," Obama said.

While Hagan publicly distanced herself from the rollout of Obama's signature health care legislation, she has taken up his call for extending emergency unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless.

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, another Democrat up for re-election this year in a red state, also declined to attend a visit by Obama to her state in November, though she still hitched a ride aboard Air Force One with the President to Louisiana that same day.

And while Hagan told a newspaper last year she would "be honored" to have Obama campaign for her in 2014, Republicans argue Hagan is now backpedaling.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee blasted out an email Wednesday saying they "understand why Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu are avoiding the President at all costs."

Their problem, the email continued, "is that they own the unpopular agenda, making it impossible to distance from it no matter how much hide and seek they play with the President."

Another GOP group, the Republican National Committee, sent out an email Wednesday with the subject line "Where's Kay?"

The RNC pointed out that the President is scheduled to meet with the Senate Democratic Caucus Wednesday night at the White House, indicating Hagan may be among the attendees.

"Hagan isn't too busy to meet with Obama where her constituents won't see," the email stated.

North Carolina was one of two states that supported Obama in his first presidential bid, but turned red in 2012. The state has nonetheless been a favorite stop for Obama over the past five years. He's paid particular attention to the state's Research Triangle, a reliably Democratic enclave.

CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: Americans for Prosperity • Congress • Kay Hagan • North Carolina • NRSC • President Obama • RNC • Senate
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    This is more important than the GOP/Teatrolls filibustering the extension of unemployment insurance?

    Hardly.

    January 15, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I wish someone would tell the good Senator, "No half steppin'." You're either in it to win it, or you're in it to survive. Right now, she's making herself look like she's trying to survive. Doing so makes you look like you're on the defensive, which is always means you're losing when it comes to politics.

    January 15, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Sen. Hagan, you need to woman up!!! Stand by what you voted for. The republican party in your state has already gone to the extreme as far as women's issues go & voting rights. The PP&ACA is working and you should stand by it. Heck! You should run on it.

    January 15, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. smith

    She should just stand by Obama, she already stepped in the poop pile and she can`t change that. Hagan is history come election time.

    January 15, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. HenryMiller

    "Hagan steers clear of Obama in North Carolina"

    Not going to help–everyone here in NC knows she betrayed our interests by voting for Obamacare, and a lot of us aren't going to let that betrayal be forgotten.

    January 15, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Huge faux pas on her part.
    She's done two things: She's fed into the Repubes' diatribe and false narrative regarding the ACA, and she's exhibited boorish behaviour worthy of a certain Arizona Governor towards her own President.
    Additonally, did no one tell this child that others attempted to distance themselves from the President in 2010 and ended up losing because the Repubes jumped all over that act of betrayal and lack of unity to Party?
    it really is hard to make these people up.

    January 15, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Harold Read

    Why is one of the Obamacare cheerleaders not going to support the man who's name is all over it?
    Maybe because Obamacare is the "train-wreck" the Max Baucus (one of the chief architects of Obamacare) predicted? Vote her out with the rest of the fools that pushed this debacle on America.

    January 15, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Thomas

    Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers, released a new web video Wednesday, labeling Hagan and Obama as best friends because of their support for the Affordable Care Act.

    ====

    How do you boycott all Koch Brothers products ?

    January 15, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Pete

    Yah ,anything from the Koch brothers mouths are trash and can be proven as such..Ask how the governor from Wisconsin behind his constituents back trying to sell publicly owned power plants to the Koch brothers and giving them tax breaks to boot...That's the Koch brothers motto ,All for us and screw the rest at tax payers expense!!

    January 15, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Silence DoGood

    Typical GOP nonsense:
    If she stays in DC she is avoiding Obama.
    If she were to leave DC, why isn't she at work in DC?

    January 15, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. yolanda

    This is nothing new. Republicans avoided Bush like the plague during 2006 elections. It's called survival. Not commendable, but commonplace in both parties.

    January 15, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    It is a grave mistake this lady is doing. Why is scared of Healthcare Law? Doesn't she know it is a nation's dire need. When I wrote to John Roberts, hon'ble judge he said it is a need of the century. This lady is totally wrong to stay away from this situation. Yes, ACA is a Law, this nation needs it more than anything else. CNN, please put all comments to democracy.

    January 15, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. smith

    @Thomas- You boycott the Koch`s products the same way you boycott George Soros`s products.

    January 15, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers, released a new web video ...."
    -----------------------------
    Weren't they also behind those creepy Uncle Sam, anti-Obmacare videos? While Republicans may accuse the President of lying about keeping their health insurance plans for some people, when are people going to wake up to the fact Republicans are trying to take health insurance plans away from EVERYONE?

    January 15, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. BLKvotingAmerican

    Well it will only show (if she loose) the level of voters in N.C..................WHY on earth would anyone listen to the Koch brothers about anything?

    January 15, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Hagan steers clear of Obama in North Carolina"
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Dem voters steer clear of Hagan for steering clear of Obama".
    That's how that works.

    January 15, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. morrie

    She is just making it hard for herself to win her election by not showing up. Does she believe that republican voters voted for her in the first place. Who is she trying to appeal to the repubs. or democratic voter.

    January 15, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. tom l

    @Rudy
    "While Republicans may accuse the President of lying about keeping their health insurance plans for some people, when are people going to wake up to the fact Republicans are trying to take health insurance plans away from EVERYONE?"
    ====

    Huh? I wasn't aware that repubs were doing that. Can you tell me how the repubs are trying to take health insurance away?

    January 15, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    HenryMiller
    "Hagan steers clear of Obama in North Carolina"

    Not going to help–everyone here in NC knows she betrayed our interests by voting for Obamacare, and a lot of us aren't going to let that betrayal be forgotten.
    --------------------------------------–
    Henry, you guys have a morality problem down there in North Kakalaki. There's a reason why there's a movement called "Moral Mondays" going on there. If Sen. Hagan will argue the issues that matter,then she wouldn't have anything to worry about.

    January 15, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. tom l

    I think Yolanda makes a lot of good points.

    January 15, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    ""While Republicans may accuse the President of lying about keeping their health insurance plans for some people, when are people going to wake up to the fact Republicans are trying to take health insurance plans away from EVERYONE?"
    ====

    Huh? I wasn't aware that repubs were doing that. Can you tell me how the repubs are trying to take health insurance away?"

    Really? Do I really need to go through an explanation of what will most certainly happen if we allow people to "buy insurance across state lines"?

    January 15, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    "Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers, released a new web video ...."
    ---------–
    Weren't they also behind those creepy Uncle Sam, anti-Obmacare videos? While Republicans may accuse the President of lying about keeping their health insurance plans for some people, when are people going to wake up to the fact Republicans are trying to take health insurance plans away from EVERYONE?
    ----------
    Yes that was them. And the creepy part is that they realized they could best sabotage the ACA by scaring young people on campus (the "beer" campaign) away. Which has had the temporary effect we are seeing now. And all this had to be discovered and outed to the public. Very secretive and scary folks. If ACA is that obviously bad, why do these groups have to scheme and sneak around?

    January 15, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Warren

    Glad I don't need her to have my back....

    January 15, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    yolanda wrote: "This is nothing new. Republicans avoided Bush like the plague during 2006 elections. It's called survival. Not commendable, but commonplace in both parties."

    tom l wrote: "I think Yolanda makes a lot of good points."
    ------------------------
    Republicans ran from their records in 2006, and lost the Congress.
    Democrats ran from their records in 2010, and lost the House and darn near the Senate.
    Hagan will lose her seat if she whies away from her record.

    January 15, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein

    They wonder why she isn't in her home state when the Senate is in session? That does seem lame.

    January 15, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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