Obama: Democrats get ‘clobbered’ in midterms
March 21st, 2014
09:15 AM ET
4 months ago

Obama: Democrats get ‘clobbered’ in midterms

(CNN) – President Barack Obama argued Thursday night that Democrats have low turnout and get "clobbered" in midterm elections because of the "toxic" nature of Washington.

“The problem is not that the American people disagree with us on the issues," the President said. "The challenge is, is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith and finally they just say, 'You know what, I’m not interested, I’m not going to bother, I’m not going to vote.' ”

His comments came at a dinner in Miami for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which aims to get Democrats elected to the House, at the home of retired basketball star Alonzo Mourning.

Obama has been actively trying to fundraise for Democratic groups this cycle as the party anticipates a tough battle in its efforts to win back the House majority, as well as maintain control of the Senate.

Obama 2014 campaign role: Fundraiser-in-Chief

The President said turnout is better for Democrats in presidential election years because young people, blacks, Hispanics and women are more likely to vote - what he called "a more representative cross-section of America."

“But in midterms we get clobbered - either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

"We’re going to have to get over that," he added. "This is a top priority."

Obama said little about his health care law, an issue that some Democrats have tried to stay away from on the campaign trail.

After a high-profile loss in a special congressional election in Florida last week where Obamacare was a central issue, some Democrats are growing increasingly nervous about being linked to the law, which has had a series of setbacks. There are also worries that the issue could cause them to lose their 55-45 majority in the Senate.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, however, argued Thursday that Obamacare will actually help those running in competitive districts this fall.

"I believe that it's a winner," Pelosi replied when asked Thursday how the issue would play in swing districts. But she maintained that Democratic campaigns are mostly focused on the economy.

Democrats need to pick up a challenging 17 seats in order to retake the House.

While the second-highest ranking Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer, predicted last month his party was in a good position to retake control of the House, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said she expects Democrats to gain seats but stopped short of predicting a takeover.

CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • DCCC • Fundraising • President Obama
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Joi Gibson

    Vote people, VOTE! This is no time to be complacent. Maybe folks did not turn out for the special election in Florida's District 13 – however, I hope Alex Sink runs again. It is not like she lost by a landslide, far from it. AND, Governor Lurch is on the ballot as well which should be a strong motivator to get my fellow Floridians to the ballots. Also, keeping the Senate in Democratic control is so very important otherwise, all that will get done is trying to impeach the President, votes to send our military to places far and wide, women's reproductive issues, the usual nonsense. VOTE!!!

    Greetings Tampa Tim!

    March 21, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Dallas

    The President is absolutely right – but this time around the stakes are too high to stay at home. If all of us don't get out and vote our government will be taken over by these Tea Party radicals who will not work with the President and destroy the good that has already been done and the good that could be done. Please my fellow Democrats – get out and vote this November. Do not let the right wing radicals take over our government!

    March 21, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Tony

    Don't get too cocky, Republicans. Obamacare has a higher approval rating than you.

    March 21, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. J Anthony

    The natiional debt is the money-supply. It will always increase as long as we allow private banking interests to create our currency for us. It's called usury, and it's been institutionalized in this country since 1913. Big problem. Until we begin to deal with this and reform it, nothing changes.

    March 21, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @Dallas
    The President is absolutely right – but this time around the stakes are too high to stay at home. If all of us don't get out and vote our government will be taken over by these Tea Party radicals who will not work with the President and destroy the good that has already been done and the good that could be done. Please my fellow Democrats – get out and vote this November. Do not let the right wing radicals take over our government!
    -----------–
    The Tea Party is not that crazy are they? The say nice words like "freedom and "liberty".
    "American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains." –Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, discussing cloning with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, 1997

    March 21, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    People better get out and vote the country is being taken over by crazies. Check out the Rush article. People actually listen to him. That is scary.

    March 21, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. CALIFORNIA

    Bye Bye Dems

    March 21, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Hector Slagg

    Rudy NYC, and other Big Government Liberals,
    Whazzat that you say? Congressman Ryan hasn't run the Numbers as when we will Balance the Budget, pay off the National Debt? Point of Order. The Country has been running up the Debt for the last 100 years. News Flash. The Country will be lucky if the National Debt is paid off a hundred years from now. With big thinkers like Rudy, we will never pay off the debt until the next crash. And then everything will be forgiven. Hope you have a good Retirement Plan.

    March 21, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Guest

    It's clear by these few comments that they are either paid responses to promote democrats or they are so ignorant that they have no idea what a republican is.

    March 21, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. Logictox

    They are going to get clobbered as a direct result of the liar in chief.

    March 21, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    What ever happened to all of those folks who had threatened to leave the country if Barack Obama was elected, and threatened again with hiw re-election? What was that you said? They turned into the Tea Party you say? Seriously?

    March 21, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    CALIFORNIA

    Bye Bye Dems
    -------------------
    Bye. Glad to see you make good on your promise to leave the country if Barack Obama were re-elected. See ya.

    March 21, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    @Hector Slagg
    Rudy NYC, and other Big Government Liberals,
    Whazzat that you say? Congressman Ryan hasn't run the Numbers as when we will Balance the Budget, pay off the National Debt? Point of Order. The Country has been running up the Debt for the last 100 years. News Flash. The Country will be lucky if the National Debt is paid off a hundred years from now. With big thinkers like Rudy, we will never pay off the debt until the next crash. And then everything will be forgiven. Hope you have a good Retirement Plan.
    --------
    "big thinkers like Rudy" and big war mongers like Bush. Iraq war was $720 million a day. That is $30 million an hour or $8000 a second for NO purpose based on LIES (like Putin invasion) and NO funding plan.

    March 21, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    CALIFORNIA

    Bye Bye Dems
    -------
    Bye. Glad to see you make good on your promise to leave the country if Barack Obama were re-elected. See ya.
    ------
    You know conservatives have a "flexible" morality. Their word is "relative" to the moment.

    March 21, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Norma Vessels

    Ask yourself two questions when you go to your voting precinct to vote in November. What have the Republicans done for me and my family so far? The answer will most likely be "nothing." What have they done to stop my and my family's progress so far? "Way too much, too often." Then vote for the other guys. They have your back.

    March 21, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Brain

    Obama doesn't care as long as his agenda gets implemented – the Dims are oblivious to their status as collateral damage... November is going to be U G L Y for those with a D next to their name. Love watching a party eat its own.

    March 21, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Ulysses

    This President (and upper echelon power brokers for both Dems and Reps) are delusional and corrupt. They have been handed the keys to Daddy's 18-wheeler and are careening down the economic highway with no brakes. All they are interested in is staying in POWER, MONEY and pandering to their personal voting blocs with handouts through government programs, favorable legislation, loan-guarantees, etc... There are some rational people in both parties who are truly interested in the future of a strong America with a robust, job-creating economy, strong military and limited government along with a BASIC collection of safety-net programs for CITIZENS in need (assistance that, in most cases, is designed to be truly temporary in nature). Unfortunately, these politicians are drowned out, kept in line or left out by the party power brokers. I fear this this thing is heading for a devastating crash of historic proportions unless we and the people we elect, wake up in time to make the tough decisions to get our nation back on sound footing.

    March 21, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Tony in STL

    The problem is that you have sooooo many people attempting to disrupt the truth, ...one's own best interest. A lot of people, just aren't very smart, and will bite on the disruption. No offense to anyone. God Bless the US!

    March 21, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. GODZILLA1

    If Republicans keep the House and win the Senate then they will impeach Obama. He won't be convicted but it will set the GOP up for a smashing defeat in 2016.

    March 21, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Ol' Yeller

    @CALIFORNIA
    "Bye Bye Dems"

    We aren't leaving. This is our country. You are the ones who hate it and are trying to sell it to the highest bidder. I'm not sure why you all don't just go to russia... after all, they have such a strong leader you all fawn over, they love to invade other countries for no reason, it is legal and encouraged to mistreat LGBT people, and you you can wave to sarah from her porch.
    Sounds like a paradise for nimrods.

    March 21, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. BinFL

    The Dems and left leaning Independents that did not vote in 2010 can only blame themselves for the situation we've had in Washington since then. They are directly responsible for hurting our President's agenda and for giving the Tea Partiers power. It is a crying shame as President Obama had the right ideas to move our country and we would be in much better shape now if the Dems still held the House. PLEASE vote in the midterms so the Senate remains in the Dems control or all will be lost.

    March 21, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Me

    Bill from GA

    The Dems did great in 2006. Since then the right-wing propaganda network has been working overtime. That is obvious from some of the garbage from the righties posting here.

    The last time we had a balanced budget (surplus, actually) was from the Bill Clinton years. W & Dickie didn't like paying down our debt, so he cut taxes and started a useless war.
    _________________________
    I love all this talk about Clinton's “surplus”, go look at the debt clock, did the debt go down AT ANY TIME DURING HIS PRESIDENCY??? NO it did not therefore his surplus was WORTHLESS, he just spent the money on other things, negating the surplus!!! Get a clue!!!

    March 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Me

    MikeinMT

    The great part about this country is that no one party completely controls government. To hear Obama talk about toxicity in government is pure hypocrisy. Democratic rhetoric is hideously toxic. Discrimination of racial minorities that are conservative have been increasing on the left. As a minority, if you don't walk the walk and talk the talk the way you are expected to, you end up on the "barrel" end of the DMC shotgun. Dems ask for Republican solutions. The problem with that argument is that its not Republican's fault for the mess Obama has made of foreign policy, the economy, jobs, and of course Obamacare. Don't ask Republicans to clean up your mess. This is your administration, and your responsibility to fix it. What do you want to bet that the next post after this uses the "R: word?
    __________________
    Thank you, excellent post!!! Don't ask others to fix YOUR problems in life, it is not their responsibility, democrats!!!

    March 21, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Swedge70

    Chris-E...al

    Even when the dems had all 3 houses in D.C. they did nothing but pass a law that they did'nt read !
    ------------------
    Yes, the ACA appeared out of thin air, Dems immediately put on their blindfolds and passed it without one single person reading it.

    March 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Me

    Me

    Bill from GA

    The Dems did great in 2006. Since then the right-wing propaganda network has been working overtime. That is obvious from some of the garbage from the righties posting here.

    The last time we had a balanced budget (surplus, actually) was from the Bill Clinton years. W & Dickie didn't like paying down our debt, so he cut taxes and started a useless war.
    _________________________
    I love all this talk about Clinton's “surplus”, go look at the debt clock, did the debt go down AT ANY TIME DURING HIS PRESIDENCY??? NO it did not therefore his surplus was WORTHLESS, he just spent the money on other things, negating the surplus!!! Get a clue!!!
    _______________
    Furthermore, the debt actually INCREASED during EVERY YEAR of his presidency!

    March 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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