Florida Senator Blasts President for “Toxic Political Environment”

November 24, 2010 05:23

Some Democratic legislators have already begun criticizing President Barack Obama, almost two years ahead of the 2012 election. And many have reason to do so.

The Americano

Some Democratic legislators have already begun criticizing President Barack Obama, almost two years ahead of the 2012 election. And many have reason to do so. With 23 Senate Democratic seats up for grabs in the next election cycle, incumbent Democrats do not want to wait and see if the president regains his popularity.

Comments about what was said at a behind closed door session between Democrats in Congress and Obama began circulating over the weekend.  More than one political website wrote about the confrontational nature of the White House meeting with congressional Democrats.

According to Politico, Sen Bill Nelson (D-FL.) reportedly took the president to task for becoming a party liability. Politico said Friday that Nelson blamed Obama for creating a toxic political environment for Democrats in Florida and throughout the nation.

Nelson, a former astronaut, will have to defend, among other things the administration’s decision to drastically cut-back on the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) budget, which analysts say in Florida alone might mean the loss of 20,000 good paying professional and technical jobs.

In Florida, Nelson’s actions did not surprise the news media. It expects Nelson to try and distance himself as much as possible from Obama as soon as possible in order to protect his senate seat in the 2012 election.  The Palm Beach Post reported that Florida’s Republican  Party is eagerly awaiting the election. Nelson is the last remaining Democrat to hold a statewide elected job in Florida, after the November 2, mid-term elections.

Democrats are not eager to talk about what Nelson told the president last Thursday, nor do they want to talk about his re-election bid in 2012.

Republicans on the other hand, cannot hide their eagerness. Already there are more than one potential Republican rivals for Nelson. One such potential suitor for the Senate seat, Florida’s Senate President Mike Haridopolos, told The Daily Caller he’s glad Nelson finally spoke out about the president but said he hopes the senator will start demonstrating his change of heart with his actions and votes, too.

“Up to this point, he [Nelson] has been lock-step with President Obama,” Haridopolos said in a phone interview. “He voted for the stimulus, he voted for the health-care bill. I’m glad he’s saying something right now but his actions show that he is tied to President Obama at the hip.”

Another potential candidate is Florida’s other sitting U.S. senator George Lemieux, who was appointed to the Senate to replace Senator Mel Martínez, who retired from his post before his term expired. Lemieux was appointed to fill Martinez’s seat by Gov. Charlie Crist, but has separated himself from the governor since he resigned from the Republican Party to run unsuccessfully as an Independent.

Lemieux and his staff have abstained from making any public comments although analysts in Florida say it is a fairly good bet that he will run.

Haridopolos told The Caller that  he has yet to make a final decision as to whether he’ll run against Nelson for the Sunshine State’s Senate seat in 2012, but admitted he has received many phone calls from voters urging him to run.

“It’s going to depend on who in Florida wants me to run,” Haridopolos said. “At this point, most of the people I’ve talked to have said that they would strongly support me.”

He said many people in Florida feel deserted by the Democratic leadership in Washington.

“Most Democrats I speak to say, you know, they didn’t leave the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Party left them,” Haridopolos said. “They have moved hard to the left. The way Senator Nelson has voted the last two years, he has done the same. He has fully embraced President Obama.”

Haridopolos said many callers are angry at Nelson for permitting “NASA to be destroyed. That’s 20,000 jobs, let alone the more important component which is national security. That’s why, I think, people who have been long-time Bill Nelson supporters are calling people like me and saying we want you to challenge Bill Nelson because he’s not standing up for Florida.”

The Americano / Agencies

Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: