Key Dem: 'Premature' to say whether Obama deserves primary challenge

A key House Democrat said on Tuesday it was "premature" to say whether President Obama deserves a primary challenger in 2012.

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), a chief deputy whip for Democrats in the House, said he stood by Obama for now and that it was too soon to say whether he should face a challenge.

"I think that's premature," Crowley said Tuesday on CNBC when asked if the tax cuts deal announced on Monday by the president made Crowley less inclined to support Obama for reelection.

"I think that right now the president is our candidate and we have a good ways to go," Crowley added. "I think the president will rebound, quite frankly."

Democrats have loudly expressed their disappointment in Obama since he announced a deal with Republicans that would extend all expiring Bush tax cuts for two years, in addition to extending other tax credits, and unemployment benefits for 13 months.

Liberal Democrats' anger toward the White House seems to have reached a tipping point with the latest tax deal, capping off two years in which they feel Obama has capitulated frequently to Republican demands.

"I think that what the bottom line is, is the president has to realize that sometimes the process of fighting and standing up for what you believe in becomes an easier end at the end of the day, that too often, he gives in too easily, and the American people simply want someone to fight for them," said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) last night on MSNBC.

Liberal groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) have hinted they might go fishing for a new candidate in 2012, having run ads in Iowa, the home of the first 2012 nominating contest, criticizing Obama on taxes.

Finding a Democrat to step forward and challenge a sitting president of the same party might be a more difficult proposition, however. One possible candidate, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), last week categorically ruled out challenging Obama in two years.



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy