Hagan steers clear of Obama in North Carolina
January 15th, 2014
11:21 AM ET
6 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. smith

    @Dutch- "Moral Mondays", about a hundred or so people paid by the NAACP to sit and cry in one small city. That is a movement, are you serious? Another example of MSNBC trying to build something out of nothing, because that is the only network I have ever talking about Moral Mondays.

    January 15, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    Huh? I wasn't aware that repubs were doing that. Can you tell me how the repubs are trying to take health insurance away?
    ---------------------------–
    If you cannot figure it out on your own, then I guess that you're not one of the smart people I was talking about in another thread today.

    "Have you noticed how they have turned down the volume of the maniacal criticism of the phrase, "If you like your healthcare plan, then you can keep it."? That's because the smart ones on the right have realized that criticizing the President for taking healthcare plans away from a large number of people will be nothing compared to repealling the ACA and taking it away from EVERYONE."

    January 15, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Hagan will lose her seat if she whies away from her record."

    It depends on whether Democrats want this seat to end up in Republican hands. Much the same thing happened in 2010. Democrats lost that election year all on their own. I'd hoped there would have been a lesson learned ... but apparently not.

    January 15, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. smith

    @Rudy and Sniffit- The GOP isn`t stealing anybody`s health insurance. You guys need to stay away from Mother Jones, Micheal Moore, and the goons at MSNBC.

    January 15, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Hagan has little chance of keeping her seat. She is seriously unpopular in NC.

    January 15, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Hagan in NC – no different than Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.

    Post-toasties.

    January 15, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "The GOP isn`t stealing anybody`s health insurance. "

    I didn't say they were. I implied that one of their proposals, in particular, would result in the same thing they're complaining about right now. And now I'll say more specifically: it would happen on a pretty much universal, nation-wide scale instead of it being the 3% of the populace that are affected in this manner under the ACA.

    January 15, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "The GOP isn`t stealing anybody`s health insurance. "

    I didn't say they were. I implied that one of their proposals, in particular, would result in the same thing they're complaining about right now IF it were implemented. And now I'll say more specifically: it would happen on a pretty much universal, nation-wide scale instead of it being the 3% of the populace that are affected in this manner under the ACA.

    January 15, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. tom l

    tom l wrote:

    Huh? I wasn't aware that repubs were doing that. Can you tell me how the repubs are trying to take health insurance away?
    ---------–
    If you cannot figure it out on your own, then I guess that you're not one of the smart people I was talking about in another thread today.

    "Have you noticed how they have turned down the volume of the maniacal criticism of the phrase, "If you like your healthcare plan, then you can keep it."? That's because the smart ones on the right have realized that criticizing the President for taking healthcare plans away from a large number of people will be nothing compared to repealling the ACA and taking it away from EVERYONE."

    =====

    Gosh, I wasn't aware that if the ACA were repealed I would lose my health insurance and so would all of my coworkers and friends and family and all of the posters on CNN ticker and so on and so on. I had no idea. I didn't realize that 300,000,000 Americans would have no health insurance if the ACA were repealed. So....that statement isn't true at all (shame on you Sniffit for not acknowledging what a mischaracterization that line is). It is a gross exaggeration that is typical from you. It's not even debatable. And I know you would never, ever want to acknowledge that 85% of Americans were satisfied with their healthcare prior to the ACA. And I know that you're an "ends justifies the means" type of guy because it's cool with you that Obama personally lied to millions of Americans who did indeed lose their insurance because it wasn't up to what the democrats felt were the proper standards since they know what's best for me and you and everyone else. Why would that matter to you? What you don't want to acknowledge, and finally some repubs are talking about, is a much better way where you didn't have to blow up the whole system. You could have taken all of those with pre-existing conditions and put them in a high-risk pool with govt subsidies so that they could have been covered (that seems reasonable to me). You could have had tort reform because a key driver to rising healthcare costs is frivolous lawsuits or the threat of those lawsuits. You could have allowed for the purchase across state lines where there would clearly need to be new legislation but we're allowed to buy several things across state lines so that is easily doable. But hey, I guess NOT ONE PERSON IN THE USA would have insurance if it wasn't for the caring democrats, right?

    January 15, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This makes her look like an idiot that can't even stand up for what she believed in and voted for. I'm a dem and I don't even care if she wins or loses!!!!!

    January 15, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Up next – Landrieu of Louisiana, followed by Pryor of Arkansas and Begich of Alaska.

    Check your local istings for a time in your area.

    January 15, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. sammy750

    Even if I would not vote Republican, I hope she loses to one. Any Democrat that cannot support Obama should not be in DC. They need to be defeated. That is the issue with Democrats, they are NOT supporting Obama. he is doing everything with his executive power. SHAME DEMOCRATS.

    January 15, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. TONE

    I think it is time blue dogs go a lot of them vote republican anyway it is either you are a dem all the way or not. So that's a loss i am willing to take.

    January 15, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    " I didn't realize that 300,000,000 Americans would have no health insurance if the ACA were repealed. So....that statement isn't true at all (shame on you Sniffit for not acknowledging what a mischaracterization that line is)."

    Not necessary. I don't need to correct someone you already corrected. Of course, many millions would be thrown off the insurance they've now obtained via the ACA, so pretending that repealing it wouldn't be a giant screw job is also pretty silly.

    January 15, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. otlset

    Obama the Liar is toxic.

    Brand new polling confirms that Hagan trails all Republican challengers now.

    January 15, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. sly

    I'm surprised there are any Republicans running for any offices anymore.

    Who the heck will run for President now? Cruz is out – laughing stock of America. The Obese One is toast. Cooked.

    Paul?? Way too many racist comments caught on tape.

    It's Mitt! Romney for President 2016. Ha ha ha ha ha ... these have been a very very very good 6 years under President Obama.

    January 15, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Fair is Fair
    Up next – Landrieu of Louisiana, followed by Pryor of Arkansas and Begich of Alaska.

    Check your local listings for a time in your area.
    ---------------

    Hey Fair. Thanks for helping me make my case. If they won't listen to me, hopefully they'll listen to you.

    January 15, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    "Hey Fair. Thanks for helping me make my case. If they won't listen to me, hopefully they'll listen to you."
    --------–
    Sure, Lynda... even though we agree they're history, it's probably for completely different reasons. I'll send you a bill anyway.

    January 15, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    @ Lynda – isn't Franken up this year? What's his chances looking like up there?

    January 15, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Peace

    DNC should not throw even a penny to this woman. It will be a waste. Allocate it to other places where it is needed most. She better start packing now as she is not one of us.

    January 15, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Fair is Fair
    Up next – Landrieu of Louisiana, followed by Pryor of Arkansas and Begich of Alaska.

    Check your local istings for a time in your area.
    --------------------------------------–
    And if any of them run & duck for cover, they can kick rocks! The preemptive strikes are coming and they better have some fire to throw back.

    January 15, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    TONE

    I think it is time blue dogs go a lot of them vote republican anyway it is either you are a dem all the way or not. So that's a loss i am willing to take.
    -------
    This message brought to you by the Democratic Party – home of the Big Tent.

    January 15, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. J Russ

    "Of course, many millions would be thrown off the insurance they've now obtained via the ACA"

    many millions? .........seems like the numbers I've heard is that more have lost coverage than have signed up

    January 15, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Fair

    Yes, he's up this year. No contest from where it stands today. One hardly knows he's a Senator for as quiet as he's been.

    And about that billing? You might make a case for Landrieu (even though she was a supposed write off in 2010) but the others ... no, not yet. Don't look to replace Franken. Whatever MY opinions are of the man, we are talking Minnesota.

    January 15, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. tom l

    Fair beat me to it. Sure seems like dems on here are don't want any opinions that differ whatsoever. And they chide repubs for walking in lockstep yet want to kill their own when they don't toe the party line...

    January 15, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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