Kaine Warns Democrats Against Bashing Party Leaders

James Rosen

Democratic candidates would be “crazy” to try to boost their electoral prospects at the expense of President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the party’s top strategist warned Friday.

Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine, a former governor of Virginia, said he had run – and won – six campaigns, and that his experience taught him never to take on his own party’s top officials.

“Democrats who kind of are afraid to be who they are, or are pushing back on their leaders, I think they’re crazy,” said Kaine during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” “You can’t win as a Democrat without energizing Democratic voters, and if you pour cold water on them and think you’re going to win, it’s tough….The good news is this is not what I’m seeing generally, as I travel around.”

Yet in the state that Kaine had most recently visited – Colorado – the party’s newly minted Senate nominee, incumbent Sen. Michael Bennett, responded to a question on Good Morning America about whether President Obama will stump for him in a way that was decidedly non-committal: “We’ll have to see. We’ll obviously do what’s right for the campaign.” Bennett’s comment came one day after a hard-fought primary victory in which he received high-profile help from President Obama.

Worse, one Democratic incumbent has actively criticized the president and other Democratic Party leaders. Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who is seeking a third term, has unveiled an ad that touts his hard line on illegal immigration. In the ad, narrated by Donnelly himself, the candidate says he has voted to “deport illegals” and “eliminate amnesty” for them. “No no one should ever be rewarded for breaking the law,” Donnelly says, as a still photograph appears on-screen showing President Obama with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH). “That may not be what the Washington crowd wants,” the ad says while returning to an image of Donnelly, “but I don’t work for them. I work for you.”

Making Donnelly’s choice all the more curious is the fact that the latest local poll shows him outpacing his G.O.P. opponent, state lawmaker Jacki Walorski, by nearly twenty points. On top of that, his district, which includes South Bend and the “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame, is hardly a battleground in the immigration wars. These facts suggest Donnelly’s strategic decision to campaign against “Washington” and top Democrats was an elective choice, not a poll-driven move born of desperation or intense pressure by special interest blocs.  Donnelly’s campaign did not return calls seeking comment on the ad.

It was Donnelly’s ad that Kaine was asked to address in his “Fox & Friends” appearance…

Read the rest at FoxNews.com

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