Saying there’s no “fight” in President Barack Obama, a House Democrat who returned to Oregon for the congressional summer recess said he isn’t sure the president can win a second term or even carry his very blue state.
Rep. Peter DeFazio says he’s unhappy with the president’s “flip flops” in negotiations with Republicans and thinks a moderate GOP candidate could beat Obama next year.
“At this point, it pretty much depends on how far out there the Republican nominee is. You know, with a respectable someone who is a little bit toward the middle of the road Republican nominee, he’s going to have a very tough time getting reelected,” DeFazio told Portland TV station KGW.
And, DeFazio said, he’s not sure Obama will do well in Oregon in 2012, even though he won nearly 57 percent of the vote there three years ago.
“I believe Oregon is very much in play,” he said. “I mean, we are one of the harder hit states in the union, particularly my part of the state … [P]eople are shaking their head and saying ‘I don’t know if I’d vote for him again.”
When one man asked what Obama had done for him, DeFazio said his best response was “it could have been worse.”
DeFazio has taken issue with Obama’s negotiation skills in the past and did again this week.
“Fight? I don’t think it’s a word in his vocabulary,” he said. “I mean, come on — he pledged as a candidate to make the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000. He repeatedly said that as president.”
“Then the Republicans telegraphed to him they were going to use a fake crisis over the debt limit in order to muscle some major spending reductions or other things on to him,” he said. “And what happens? Suddenly he flip flops and concedes everything to the Republicans.”
DeFazio, who endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton late in the 2008 Democratic primary process, has been critical of Obama’s negotiation skills and the administration more broadly. On the House floor last month, DeFazio said the president was “preparing yet another great cave” on a debt ceiling deal.
But DeFazio’s latest comments come as frustration with Obama has spread in the Democratic Party as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) showed at a town hall in Detroit this week, where she told black voters to “unleash” her and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to confront Obama on jobs. Meanwhile, the president’s approval rating has fallen into the low- to mid-40s in most major polls, and even lower – 39 percent – in the Gallup daily tracking poll.