September 28th, 2010
01:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama scolds 'irresponsible' Dems

(CNN) - Joe Biden isn't the only member of the Obama White House frustrated with the Democratic base.

So is the big man himself.

In his lengthy Rolling Stone interview, President Obama took the opportunity to express deep frustration with the low enthusiasm among Democratic voters this election cycle amid charges he has fallen short on a string of campaign promises.

"It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election," the president told the magazine.

Obama went on to describe his administration as the "most successful in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward," and said it was flat out "irresponsible" for Democrats to stay home on Election Day.

"The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible," he said. "Everybody out there has to be thinking about what's at stake in this election."

Obama's direct admonishment was published a day after the vice president turned heads when he told Democrats at a New Hampshire fundraiser that the base of the party needs to "stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives."

Obama's comments came as the president heads to four states this week in an effort to drum up excitement among voters who flocked to the polls for him in 2008 and remind them of his administration's accomplishments. To that end, Obama said he keeps a list of fulfilled campaign promises. The president claimed 70 percent of them have been met.

Democratic discontent has grown more palpable over the last several months as Obama has been forced to fend off charges that, among other things, he was too eager to compromise on health care, hasn't pushed hard enough for gay rights, and is advancing the same foreign policies as the hawkish Bush administration.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that only 30 percent of Democrats are enthusiastic about the looking midterm elections, as opposed to 53 percent of Republicans.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Scott in Atlanta

    THAT'S RIGHT!!! It's time to start dealing with these cowards who will stand for nothing. We had to drag them along through the entire Healthcare debate, and now they're running scared from their accomplishments in order to appease, a minority of fringe Hannity followers. It makes no sense.

    I can picture Al Gore, back in 2000 when only after the election did he realize what a mistake it was to distance himself from Bill Clinton.

    Be prepared to make the right decision on the spot without fear, rather than having to think regretfully in retrospect Dems. Get it together; we have work to do...

    September 28, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. roro

    He's right. Dems need to get off their pity pots and vote in November. He's doing the best he can considering the constant blocking by the Repubs. And please look at the alternatives, from the lunatic Sharron Angle to the idiotic Christine O'Donnell. Are they and their ilk what you really want in Congress? I certainly hope not!

    September 28, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. MDS

    Why is the president having a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone? Why not a news journal?

    September 28, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. Tulsa

    Good. He is correct. The people who voted for Senator Obama may be unhappy that President Obama can't wave a magic wand and change the direction of the ship of State. Well, here's a heads up for you all; NO ONE CAN CHANGE THIS COUNTRY FOR BETTER OR WORSE BY HIMSELF.
    Face it folks, the only way we can have good governance from either party is to eliminate money from politics PERIOD. I do not buy the argument that money = free speach. If that's true then only the wealthy have a voice and that is not democracy.

    September 28, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. William

    Obama to Democrats, "How dare you vote based on my record and resutls thus far!".

    September 28, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. New Age Independant

    Obama is truly out of touch with reality. He scolds 'irresponsible' Dems for what? Not wanting his failing policies? Not holding him accountable for numerous failed campaign promises? He needs only to look at his party's policies to see where the problem is. Democrats had a chance to prove their worth being in control of congress and the presidency, yet they have failed miserably and continue to blame Republicans, even when they are split on the issues themselves. They've had their chance and blew it with their own greed and corruption. A prime example of why one party should not hold complete power if there ever was one.

    September 28, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    ["...he was too eager to compromise on health care, hasn't pushed hard enough for gay rights, and is advancing the same foreign policies as the hawkish Bush administration."] This was said about President Obama!!

    Okay – GAYS – sit home and watch where Don't Ask Don't Tell" goes!! Out the back door! How about all of the other gay rights you are fighting for – GOOD LUCK with that if the EXTREMIST take over!!!

    CITIZENS OF AMERICA: We already see the 'benefits' of Health Care Reform. Take notice – the RepubliCAN'Ts are campaigning FOR Health Care Reform MORE THAN the Democrats. Have you noticed that they are NO LONGER SAYING 'repeal' HCR??? Instead, they are picking HCR apart; taking out the GOOD POINTS (which is 90%); scraping what’s NOT good and they will end up getting CREDIT for something President Obama and the DEMOCRATS have accomplished WITHOUT THEM???? WAKE UP, Dang!!

    FOREIGN POLICY: You can say what you want on the STUMP – but when you get in the HOUSE it is different – especially when you have access to ALL of the TOP SECRET documents that ever existed!!! But besides all of that, President Obama ALWAYS stated that he will end the war in Iraq – ENDED!!! He always said that he will send more troops to Afghanistan to finish that war – HE DID!!! What the heck is WRONG with YOU people – meaning the POLITICIANS and the VOTERS!!!

    Please America – go see a doctor and find out WHY you’re suffering from Short Term Memory Syndrome at such a young age (if you are young). And if you are OLD, still go see a doctor and see if he/she can prescribe something – and STOP watching FOX NEWS all the time – that in itself is a Health Hazard!!!

    DEMOCRATS – make the politicians in your area STATE the CASE and mean it – UNITE the BASE and believe in it – WIN this RACE in November 2010 – WE have to ‘get there’ first BEFORE 2012!!!
    This is T’SAH the Original Liberal – and I approve this message.

    September 28, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. Oldshoshone

    The President should follow the advice of his Vice President who chastised Democrats for whining too much. Obama has been whining about Republicans, Fox News, and now Democrats. America wants a leaded, not a whiner.

    September 28, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. chris

    I think most dems are realizing that he is no different then the Bush administration and have given up on him. I put myself in that category.

    September 28, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Lou

    Obama loves bailing out crooks and failed companies just as much as Bush.

    I don't blame Dems for being mad.

    September 28, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. Marry

    The President is correct, with friends like some of the Democrats, you don’t need enemies! Sad, when you have the opportunity to do a lot of good work for the people and some are to chicken to take it!

    September 28, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Jerry

    Mirror mirror on the wall, who will get their tail kicked in the fall

    September 28, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. bbrooker

    I agree with the President and find it appalling that the mood of democrats to fight 8 years of Bush in 2008 has dissipated when the fight now is against an EVEN WORSE EVIL– TEA PARTIERS even more crazy-drunk on Beck/Palin/Hannity. That's why I can't wait to vote in November, am donating to Organize for America, and am considering volunteering.

    September 28, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. rod pearce

    Sounds like the man is coming apart at the seams......lashing out against everyone......his own party, dem voters, fox news, political opposition, people leaving the WH........apparently he doesn't believe in freedom of the press or our constitution......he's sounding a liitle like Hugo Chavez

    September 28, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. No Tea For Me

    My family, Neighbors,Churchmembers and friends are voting for Democrats in Nov. just like we did in 2008. We know as hardworking Middle Class and Upper Middle Class Americans the Democrats care about us.

    September 28, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. all of America

    Obama went on to describe his administration as the "most successful in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward," and said it was flat out "irresponsible" How arrogant and ignorant this guy is.obama is a huge failure ,the people have lost confidence in him.

    September 28, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. kaydevo

    So President Obama is "scolding" the base for complaining that he failed to carry through on the platform for which he was elected (and in some cases doing the opposite). That's the way to energize the Democratic electorate! He cannot regain their trust and their votes by punishing them. And Joe Biden telling the disillusioned and angry voters who ELECTED them to "stop whining" is adding insult to, well, insult.

    September 28, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. PackMan97

    Mr. President, it might be that the majority of American's didn't elect you to move a progressive agenda forward. They elected you because you were not Bush. Sadly, you spend like Bush, you grow government like Bush, you follow Bush's war strategy in the middle east, you support expanding police state powers like Bush ...and you are just as partisan as Bush. It's no surprise folks are disappointed in you.

    September 28, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. StayStrong

    YOU SAID IT, MR. PRESIDENT!! I couldn't agree more. I'm a Dem and I'm tired of all the whining and complaining in the party. We all need to get off our behinds, be responsible and do OUR JOB to promote your/our policies! YOU CAN'T DO IT ALONE!! WE ARE YOUR BASE!!!!!! SO GET OFF YOUR DUFFS AND MOVE DEMS!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Angus McDugan

    It isn't "low enthusiasm," it's their disgust in Obama's agenda that he kept secret during the election.

    September 28, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. NameTito Alvarez

    I feel the dems should stand up and fight for the agenda that got Obama and themselves elected. Quit running scared of polls and fox news.

    September 28, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  22. Tim

    You will drink the Kool-Aid, and you will like it.

    September 28, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. Kraznodar

    The real source of the problem is that he inherited a big mess. It wouldn't matter who was president or which party controlled congress. The party in power when life gets hard gets blamed whether they had anything to do with it or not.

    September 28, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Annie - Atlanta

    He is correct! He has accomplished more that half of what he promised in two years. However, with the negative folks who keep complaining and the ones getting media attention and it is wrong. If Democrats don't vote, we will be back to where we were before and it will be a sad day in America. The Republicans will gain control out of pure stupidity.

    September 28, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. eolufemi

    I agree with President Obama. The democrats don't know what to do with their majority. Everybody goes for self and refuses to acknowledge a common agenda greater than their individual desires. The President just articulated what most people already know.

    September 28, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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