January 28th, 2014
01:39 PM ET
11 months ago

Reid says vulnerable Democrats should not run away from Obama

Updated 2:09 p.m. ET, 1/28/2014

Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid embraced President Barack Obama's standing in an exclusive interview with CNN on Tuesday, stating that he encourages vulnerable Senate Democrats running for re-election in 2014 to invite the President to campaign with them even in states where he is unpopular.

Reid's exclusive comments to CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash come just hours ahead of the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday night and months ahead the 2014 midterm elections, where Democrats will fight to keep the majority in the Senate.

"Barack Obama is personally a very popular guy. And people love this man. They love his family," Reid told Bash. "Of course, with what the Republicans have been doing, trying to denigrate him with what's happened with the rollout of Obamacare, but things, even this week, his numbers are going up again."

"So you would encourage some of your most vulnerable Senate Democratic candidates to invite President Obama to appear with them," Bash asked.

"Yes, and they will," Reid said.

Reid also revealed to Bash that he will travel to the White House next week to meet with the President and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado – the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – about how to best use the President in 2014.

Among those vulnerable Democrats are Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Both have made news in the past few months by not appearing with Obama when the President's held an event in their state.

Earlier this month, Hagan did not attend a speech Obama delivered on the economy at North Carolina State University. At the time, a spokesman for Hagan confirmed to CNN that because the "Senate is in session," the Democratic senator would stay in Washington. In November 2013, Landrieu traveled with the President to Louisiana but did not attend a speech he delivered at the Port of New Orleans. Landrieu had other events in the state scheduled that day.

Republicans have seized on those absences as proof that Obama is toxic for vulnerable Democrats in reliably red states.

On Tuesday, Reid rejected that idea.

"Well, Barack Obama, he is a good person to campaign for anybody," Reid said. "The President understands government. But he also understands politics. And that's why he won two elections overwhelmingly, both of which for President of the United States and they said he didn't stand a chance."

Thirty-six seats in the Senate will be up for grabs on Election Day 2014. Although Democrats currently hold 55 seats (including two independents who caucus with them), the party is defending 21 seats in the legislative body, compared to the Republicans, who are defending 15.

More of Reid's interview with Bash – where the top Senate Democrat also says plans are in the works for vulnerable Senate Democrats to get Senate floor votes to make changes to Obamacare – will air during The Situation Room at 5 p.m. ET and during CNN's special coverage of Obama's State of the Union address which starts at 7 p.m. ET.


Filed under: 2014 • Democrats • Harry Reid • President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Sen. Hagan didn't get the memo Harry. It's all good though. She still has enough time to grab onto the President's coat tails. Like I've said before, don't shy away from your actions in Congress when you did what was in the best interest of the country. Doing so only makes you look cowardly.

    January 28, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well, Barack Obama, he is a good person to campaign for anybody," Reid said. "The President understands government. But he also understands politics. And that's why he won two elections overwhelmingly, both of which for President of the United States and they said he didn't stand a chance
    -------------------------------------------------
    Correct.
    Democrats would be dumb to do what they did in 2010 and turn their backs on THIS President.
    They lost in 2010 while our President won, OVERWHELMINGLY, his re-election.
    Think Democrats.
    Man up. Own up. Round up.
    Together with THIS President you can do great things.'
    TOGETHER.

    January 28, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    ALL Democrats are in for a tough time in mid terms. The people are finding out the truth, and beginning to recognize just how badly the Dems, and Obama in particular, have been lying to them, about EVERYTHING!

    Sooner or later, you have to wake up and figure it out........things are NOT getting better........they are actually getting WORSE!

    January 28, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    14 million uninsured have benefitted from the ACA so far. The Republican Party is a train wreck with no ideas, and with their upcoming shutdown of government, again, even billionaires will stop supporting them.

    January 28, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. The REAL Truth...

    @Rick McDaniel – Sooner or later, you have to wake up and figure it out........things are NOT getting better........they are actually getting WORSE!
    ----------------------
    Yawn... according to whom.. Fox?? Sooner or later you have to wake up and figure it out... the GOP has done absolutely NOTHING to correct the fiscal disaster left by Obama's predecessor while doing their utmost to see him fail.. and where has that taken us.. to a 2nd Obama term, and what will be abject failure in the upcoming mid-terms. When one's hole is filling up with delusion, one should stop digging Ricky.

    January 28, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. much thunder...little rain

    pryor and landrieu not going to ask obama to come to there states ...sorry harry wrong again ...pay back may be tough if you loose the senate..

    January 28, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    Rick darling, you forgot your favorite word.......

    Dictator......

    January 28, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Sen. Reid is correct. Running away from the ACA and the President only makes matters worse for Democrats. Running from it only lends credence to all of the misinformation that is coming out of the far right wing.

    January 28, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. HenryMiller

    Yes, Democrats, please go on identifying yourselves with Obamacare! That way, voters know exactly who to blame.

    January 28, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. HenryMiller

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Hagan is trailing 40 to 47 here in NC, and Obamacare is a disaster for everyone in the country who isn't a leech.

    January 28, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    He's right. By all means, democrats, run on the ACA, and how your vote foisted it upon everyone. Please – proceed.

    January 28, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. with a grain of salt

    Henry, please explain why the Koch brothers spent hundreds of millions on anti obamacare ads, just asking why you think that. And if you say they didn't, I would ask who is the naive one.

    January 28, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. with a grain of salt

    Fair, care to tell me why you honestly think they spent so much, while ignoring safety violations at any of their plants, I'm curious.

    January 28, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    People, don't keep buying the GOP lies and bs. Can't you see they are just hiding behind obamacare while they continue to obstruct obamas agenda while they have NONE of their own and continue to say the economy is in the dumps when any non idiot can see its on the rebound and getting better?????

    January 28, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    With no help from the GOP I might add!!!!!

    January 28, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. with a grain of salt

    That is to say if they were really worried about the well being of the workers there is any number of places that money could of went to that would benefit the same people they want you to think they care about

    January 28, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. with a grain of salt

    You cant follow the gop reasoning for two steps without tripping over lies

    January 28, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. TONE

    @Rick McDaniel wrote

    ALL Democrats are in for a tough time in mid terms. The people are finding out the truth, and beginning to recognize just how badly the Dems, and Obama in particular, have been lying to them, about EVERYTHING!

    Sooner or later, you have to wake up and figure it out........things are NOT getting better........they are actually getting WORST

    Not the dems in the progressive, and brilliant state of NYC baby. We are not that dumb to let the donothinglikkklans take over our state, but keep dreaming my friend.

    January 28, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Just get out and vote and the GOP clowns will LOSE the house and we can get the country, your country moving forward instead of backwards with the GOP morons. Down here in Florida , the GOP thief and teaparty cheerleader Scott and the rest of the GOP teaparty morons will be out of a job in November !!!!

    January 28, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Wake up People!

    Henry, I've worked my entire life. Starting out selling seeds from the back of comic books at around 8. Selling suckers in school. I've had a full time job since I was old enough to have one. I support the POTUS wholeheartedly. But I'm a leech?? What about those that don't have two thin dimes to rub together, but hate the man that looks out for them? Now those are leeches.

    January 28, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. yolanda

    @With a grain of salt...I'm no defender of the Koch brothers, but those pesky evil capitalists do provide a few jobs in this stellar economy that is simply screaming.....oh, I forgot, the economy's weakness is 100% the fault of the Repugs, as the wits call them. And why is the boilerplate retort always something about Fox News? I guess difference of opinion is only met with ridicule and derision....I look forward to @Tampa's retort accusing me of attacking orphans and farm animals.

    January 28, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP is all done in November and nothing they say or do now will make up for their last five years of obstruction and incompetence!!!!

    January 28, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. giatny

    The only one who has been caught LYING is Obama. The GOP might have taken stupidity
    to unprecedented levels but they did NOT lie about ACA. In fact, they failed miserably in
    exposing just how bad it was from the beginning. I have noticed that anything the left
    accuses the right of is what they are doing themselves. Lies and propaganda by way of
    the MSM are all from the left, as the GOP isn't clever enough at messaging to even win with
    irrefutable evidence of Obama's corruption.

    January 28, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Not the dems in the progressive, and brilliant state of NYC baby. We are not that dumb to let the donothinglikkklans take over our state, but keep dreaming my friend.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Hear, hear Tone!!!

    January 28, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    HenryMiller

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Hagan is trailing 40 to 47 here in NC, and Obamacare is a disaster for everyone in the country who isn't a leech.
    -------------------
    I think Karl Rove used the same polling firm, and look at what happened to him. Man hasn't been seen in public since election night.

    January 28, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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