Liberals support President Obama but won't stop pressing him on their issues, one of their congressional leaders said Thursday.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), one of the most liberal members of the House, said that the White House needs to better understand the concerns of members of the left, whose hopes "have not been realized."
"I think that Mr. Gibbs and the White House need to realize that liberals support the president, but they're still — the criticism is really a measure of the hopes that have not been realized," Kucinich said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
The Ohio congressman referenced remarks made by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs in an interview with The Hill, in which Gibbs castigated the "professional left," whom he said wouldn't even be happy if the very liberal Kucinich were president.
"You can't take away from the president his accomplishments, and I certainly don't," Kucinich said, before launching into concerns about the economy and the U.S. military involvement around the world. He said that until the administration addresses those problems, "those of us who call ourselves liberals are going to continue to insist" on better solutions.
The White House and Gibbs have found themselves under pressure this week in the wake of the kerfuffle. One liberal Democrat, Rep. Alan Grayson (Fla.), called on Gibbs to be fired, while Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) called for Gibbs's resignation before backtracking on that demand.
Kucinich, a two-time presidential candidate, said that he wasn't considering challenging Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries. He instead called on Democrats to unite.
"It's important who's president, yes, but it's also important that we as Democrats come together on mainstream economic ideas," he said. "And to try and paint as out of the mainstream people who want a full-employment economy, people who want peace, to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, that's the mistake that Mr. Gibbs makes. Because he's missing exactly what's happening out there across America."