President Obama should personally make his case to House Democrats on why they should accept his tax deal, according to a Maryland congressman.
Vice President Joe Biden this week met with House and Senate Democrats, but Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) says the president would be wise to meet with skeptical Democrats himself.
“If I were giving him advice as his friend I would say, 'Mr. President, come to the Hill,' look these folks dead in the eye and try to explain to them directly that you appreciate them for what they accomplished, not just for what you accomplished, what they accomplished working with you,” Cummings said.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), speaking about the compromise, said, “We should have been more forceful in extracting more.”
“The president needs to be very, very careful that he does not lose the support of his major allies,” Cummings said in a stern tone, referring to those who “supported him when no could imagine him winning [the presidency].”
Cummings, a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, backed Obama over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary. He served as co-chairman of Obama’s campaign in Maryland.
Obama was an ideal candidate for many Democrats because he embodied the virtues they believed in.
“He was saying what we were thinking,” Cummings told The Hill.
“Now,” added Cummings, “I think the president is finding it much harder to govern than to campaign, and deep in my heart, deep in my heart, I believe he stands for the same things, but I think in an effort to get something done in this political climate it may have appeared he backed off those core beliefs.”