Democrat presidential candidates who saw an opportunity to feast on Joe Biden by bashing his record with former President Obama, were told by a former Obama admin that it was a “suicide mission” going after Barrack.
The high-profile former admin told the candidates to “be wary of attacking” the useless former president.
Barracks name was in heavy rotation during the debate, being said 23 times throughout the night as they hurled insults at one another.
A number of those mentions came from Biden’s mouth, however, as he touted his only accomplishments which amount to being Obama’s side kick during 8 years of wasted time for the whole country.
The better invocation of Obama’s name came from the rival Democrats – looking to take down the somehow front-running Biden by any means necessary. They took shots at Joe by tethering him to Obama admin policies that have since fallen out of favor with progressives who account for the Democratic Party’s now much further left leaning base.
Specifically coming under attack were ObamaCare – the president’s signature domestic policy achievement that dramatically transformed health care in America – and the Obama administration’s policy of stepped-up deportations of illegal immigrants.
Eric Holder – who served as attorney general for much of Obama’s presidency – issued a warning on Twitter.
“To my fellow Democrats. Be wary of attacking the Obama record. Build on it. Expand it. But there is little to be gained – for you or the party – by attacking a very successful and still popular Democratic President,” Holder wrote.
Biden himself weighed in on Thursday, saying “I must tell ya’ I was a little surprised at how much incoming about Barack … I’m proud of the job he did. I don’t think there’s anything he has to apologize for and … it kind of surprised me the degree of the criticism.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (nobody knows why he hasn’t dropped out yet) publicly questioned Biden as to whether or not he used his “clout” as vice president to fight the deportations.
“When I was asking the vice president a bunch of tough questions, I don’t know what the heck he was saying. I didn’t get answers,” he said after the debate.
Taking a shot at Obama, de Blasio told Fox News that “a lot of people feel in communities all over this country that there were too many deportations and that they weren’t fair. And that a lot of people who hadn’t done anything wrong were deported.”
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey – who lately has become a very vocal Biden critic – also called out the former vice president for not detailing his discussions with Obama regarding deportations.
“You can’t have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can’t do it when it’s convenient and dodge it when it’s not,” Booker said point-blank to Biden.
It wasn’t just the candidates. As Biden began to explain his role in the deportations, multiple protesters in the audience briefly shouted “3 million deportations.”
The targeting of Obama and his achievements isn’t sitting well with many who served under the former president.
Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden – who served as a senior official on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and senior adviser in his administration – noted on Twitter that “the GOP didn’t attack Reagan, they built him up for decades.”
And she highlighted that “Dem Candidates who attack Obama are wrong and terrible. Obama wasn’t perfect, but come on people, next to Trump, he kind of is. This is my outrage of the day.”
Head of communications for the Obama-tied Organizing for America, Lynda Tran, said “comparing President Obama to Donald Trump on either [immigration or health care] is deeply disingenuous.”
Tran is very accurate in this sense; President Trump should not be insulted in such a way as mentioning his name with Obama’s in the same sentence.
Tran, a founding partner of the communications firm 270 Strategies, predicted that attacks on Obama will diminish as the Democratic 2020 field gets smaller.
“As the field looks to winnow sharply ahead of the September debates, it’s clear several candidates were hoping to force some daylight between Joe Biden and Barack Obama given the former president’s continued and soaring popularity,” she said. “They were generally unsuccessful, and I suspect those who remain in the race this fall will take a different approach moving forward.”