Sen. Nelson: Obama's made mistakes
September 2nd, 2011
05:22 PM ET
12 years ago

Sen. Nelson: Obama's made mistakes

(CNN) - When Democrats start distancing themselves from their incumbent president, it's either a sign of the times or a look to the future, but either way, it isn't good.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson handily called President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden "friends," at a press conference Thursday, but hesitated when asked whether he'd campaign with the president in 2012.

And according to the Miami Herald, he even admitted he may not see eye-to-eye with all of the commander-in-chief's decisions.

"The president and vice president are my friends. They're my former colleagues. Clearly, the president has made some mistakes," Nelson said.

Nelson will seek a third term in the Senate as Obama seeks re-election. Traditionally, congressional candidates in the same party of an incumbent president get a boon from co- stumping with the POTUS.

But at a time when Obama's national approval rating has fallen-and in the critical state of Florida it's shaky at best-it may be safest not to hitch a re-election wagon to the president.

Florida broke narrowly for the president in 2008, and Nelson will face Republican Attorney General Jon Bruning in his battle for re-election–making him one of the more vulnerable members of the Senate.

Democrats currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate and will defend 23 seats including two independents who caucus with the party. Republicans will defend 10 seats in 2012 and attempt to overtake the Democratic majority.

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Nelson • Florida • President Obama
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. FIELD1stSGT

    It's time for you Democrats to get your prioritys straight. Lose and los badly with this fraud or find you a man that represents, Morality, no more free clinics, no abortions and making the Bush tax credits pernament. Put God back into our worldly events. Thennyou may come close to being the Democrats of old. But right now your on a course into oblivan. The Tea Party and the GOP in a another election period will be all to choose from. Of course then there will be the NAACP Party. Ha, ha. Ha. If one could ever....

    September 2, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Weakness is best shown in times of stress. This gutless politician shows his true colors. He is from the state that handed Bush an election. Let him and his fellow Floridians share the blame for our situation.

    September 2, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. normajean

    Apparently writer "Rickster' doesn't make mistakes. Isn't that wonderful.? Wish we could all be that clever. even our president wishes he didn't make mistakes....,even when he's trying so hard to clean up eight years of mistakes that George Bush made as president! It is sooooooo easy to criticize when you are on the outside looking in!!!! You don't even have to have a brain to do that!!!!!

    September 2, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. Dee

    T'sah of Virginia it is taking us years to undo the mess Bush has us in so don't blame President Obama. If you are so dissatified then vote for Perry he is Bush #2 and you will think that you are living in a 3rd world because he will be looking out for the rich. You need to read his book you will not get Social Security you will be working until you are 90.

    President Obama is the best choice I see because every thing he has proposed the GOP has voted NO NO NO so I believe you are blaming the wrong one.

    September 2, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. Rick in OP

    I live in Florida. Nelson is in big trouble, as is Obama.

    September 2, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. David in Houston

    Vote Nelson out. Political opportunists will never truly represent the people. If Obama's poll numbers improve you know Nelson will change his tune once again.

    So, Mr. Nelson...who might you be campaigning for in Obama's stead might I ask?

    Bachmann? Perry? Palin? Trump? Gingrich? Cain? Or perhaps the next sideshow that pops out of the G.O.P clown car?

    C'mon Bill...grow a damn pair already.

    September 2, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  7. skarphace

    It is true that many moderates and Independents like myself are undecided as to our Presidential support in 2012. However, 'distancing' yourself from the President as a Democrat is looked upon as weak. You will not get us to vote for you that way. Congratulations, you have just given the Republicans a better chance at the senate majority in 2012. Happy?

    September 2, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  8. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Nelson voted with the Republicans on every piece of legislation over the last two and a half years. He opposed Healthcare reform. He is a Republican who tricked the voters by running as a Democrat.

    September 2, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  9. ObamaCares

    He needs to look at some of the Dems who tried to "distance" themselves in 2010, look at where some of them are now; a long distance away, like back in their home districts with no office in DC. Many democrats need to grow a spine.

    September 2, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  10. AR1000

    As a Democrat, I am afraid Bill Nelson is right. Obama has lost a lot of support for caving in every issue. Our worst nightmare might be that 2012 will be 1980.

    September 3, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  11. barry

    This is a sign of things to come. We were once a truly Great Nation. Bush weakened us but Obama's failed policies are bringing us to our knees. We need a change and the next President has to be a strong leader with executive experience to clean the mess up that has been made.

    September 3, 2011 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  12. "The GOP biggest deception is getting the Poor and Middle class to believe they are out to help them"

    This is what wrong with the Democrats they don't know how to stick together, they are becoming a very stupid party that gives into the media hype, polls, and other crap when things are not looking their way. The media is constantly, giving this perception that the President is just down and out by using polls that are generally targeted at a specific group or limited to who they contact. So, I will not buy into the hype they are giving. The President is dealing with some difficult issues (that are on a global scale) and we all know the House GOP are not trying to help either. Since the man came into the Office folks have been trying to get him out. Well, I for one will be voting him right back in Office for 2012 because I do believe he has the best interest of the American people at heart as oppose to any of the GOP candidates!!!

    September 3, 2011 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  13. Hall for Obama

    Rickster, if you can tell me one thing that your party have done to help the President to get this Country back on track. I might listen to you but until you do please do not talk about what this President have done.

    September 3, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  14. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The GOBP hasn't exactly "stuck together" lately with the big Teatard v. establishment old school neocon/corporatist schism on full display. That said, President Obama needs to grow a pair and start calling out the fear, hate, lies, ignorance and un-American activities on the right. Once he does, politicians will be flocking to be seen with him. Time to answer the bell Mr. President.

    September 3, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  15. Atlanta Independent

    If the republican get in the office 2012 it will be a disaster they would hurt the poor and middle class people.I whether have prez Obama in the office instead of the republicans.Could you imagine the teabaggars controling the white house and USA.

    September 3, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Yep.. He certainly HAS made mistakes. The most damaging have been giving in to REPUBLICANS at almost every turn in the name of bipartisanship, and then watching them move the goal posts so they could STILL disagree and blame him. It was and is foolish. Does he still think he will get any cooperation? They're now so far right, one needs a telescope to find them on the horizon. He should have told them to get bent a long time ago and we would ALL be better off now...

    September 3, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. FM

    If this man Nelson loses election, let it be. He has ever since shown he is not a kind of person who say let us fight together, and let us all die together if this happens. He doesn't deserve any assistance at all. Let him fight alone and lose alone. This is what he likes.

    September 3, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Marry

    Of cause, the President may have made MINOR mistakes compared with all the fine work he is doing. The one big mistake was to think that the work with the GOP and the Democrats during his term would be “NORMAL”. It is not normal – the loathing going on from the very first moment the President entered the WH is just unbelievable. That there are also a few Democrats that cannot see that working with that kind of obstruction makes achieving great progress for the country extremely difficult is very sad. They should do a bit of intense thinking – just as the voter listening to the GOP/TP should be doing! How one can even consider going along with the GOP/TP after what they have “produced”, is just beyond comprehension!

    September 3, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Truth Dealer

    Democrats have always been independent thinkers ! That's one of the parties most appealing aspects ! Where as republicans herd like sheep even if they are wrong on an issue ! I can say that as a Democrat for most of my adult life, II have never been labeled as not a good enough Democrat but as a Republican I was labeled constantly as not Republican enough ! That is partly why I switched to the Democratic party because the are truly an inclusive party ! I guarantee just because some of the Democrats think that the president has not been Liberal enough on some policies , it doesn't mean for one second that we will not vote for him or do not support him fully !! Although the president isn't a perfect liberal , he is a far better alternative than anyone the republicans have to offer ! President Obama has my support !

    September 3, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Jack V

    Rickster, you must have been born just a couple of years ago. Otherwise, you'd remember how we got into this mess in the first place. Yelling talking points that you picked up from right wing djs on the radio is not the way to have an insightful life.

    September 3, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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