Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) chief of staff is blasting the White House for not doing enough to help Senate Democrats keep their majority.
Reid aide David Krone detailed many of the conflicts between Senate Democrats and the White House for a Washington Post article published late Tuesday after the Republicans captured the upper chamber and extended their majority in the House.
“The president’s approval rating is barely 40 percent,” Krone told Post reporters. “What else more is there to say? ... He wasn’t going to play well in North Carolina or Iowa or New Hampshire. I’m sorry. It doesn’t mean that the message was bad, but sometimes the messenger isn’t good.”
The Post reports that Senate leaders begged Obama at a meeting in March to transfer party funds to help Senate Democrats.
"We were never going to get on the same page,” Krone said of the meeting. “We were beating our heads against the wall.”
He also expressed frustration with the president's lawyers requiring staffers to wait seven days before following up with donors after Obama spoke at Senate Majority PAC events, over legal concerns.
“They were setting the rules as they saw fit,” Krone said. “For some reason, they hid behind a lot of legal issues.”
Krone also said he pressured White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to transfer funds from the Democratic National Committee to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. But according to Krone, McDonough said the DNC still needed to retire its 2012 debt.
After Reid pressured Obama, the DNC took out a loan to fund the transfer to the DSCC, according to Krone.
Krone did not just have fundraising complaints. He also hit the White House on substance, targeting the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website.
“No member of the Democratic caucus screwed up the rollout of that health-care Web site,” Krone said. “Yet they paid the price — every one of them.”
A White House official hit back at Krone’s comments, highlighting the serious rift.
“David was complicating things significantly in our ability to work with the Senate," a senior White House official told the Post.
The official also suspected Krone of leaking details of an Oval Office meeting to The New York Times in August.
Krone, for his part, said the White House “likes to cast aspersions and point fingers at us.”