Democrats Offer Muted Response to Scott Brown’s Victory; Republicans Hear ‘Deafening Message’ From Voters
January 20, 2010 - 7:20 AMFollowing Republican Scott Brown's come-from-behind victory in a liberal-leaning state, prominent Democrats issued terse statements Tuesday night. Republicans are telling Democrats to wake up.
The White House Web site carried the following two-liner in the president’s name. As of early Wednesday morning, the president himself had not yet commented publicly:
“This evening the President spoke to both candidates in the hard-fought Massachusetts Senate race. The President congratulated Senator Brown on his victory and a well-run campaign. The President told Senator Brown that he looks forward to working with him on the urgent economic challenges facing Massachusetts families and struggling families across our nation.
The President thanked Attorney General Coakley for her hard work and urged her to continue her advocacy on behalf of working people.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine congratulated U.S. Senator-elect Scott Brown for “running a strong campaign,” but he also admitted he was “disappointed” with the election results.
“There will be plenty of time to dissect this race and to apply the lessons learned from it those to come this fall - but in the meantime we will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the America people and we will redouble our efforts to lay out a clear choice for voters this November,” Kaine said in a brief statement.
Kaine thanked the Democrats and political activists who “worked tirelessly” on behalf of Martha Coakley – “and who will continue to support President Obama and work for the change we all believe is essential to getting our nation moving in the right direction again."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a brief statement, reading: “The people of Massachusetts have spoken. We welcome Scott Brown to the Senate and will move to seat him as soon as the proper paperwork has been received."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not immediately issue a statement on Brown’s victory.
However, on Tuesday, Pelosi told reporters that Congress will pass "affordable health care for all Americans" no matter who wins in Massachusetts. “We're still on course to resolving the differences between the House and the Senate bill…and we will have a health care reform bill," Pelosi said.
Republicans see message from voters
Republican leaders congratulated Scott Brown on what they called an “important win.”
“Scott’s victory is a clear sign that voters are screaming ‘STOP’ at the Democrats’ jobs-killing agenda – even in the bluest of blue states,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
“While Democratic leaders may be tempted to quickly ram their government takeover of health care down America’s throat, they should take Scott’s victory as an opportunity to scrap their bill, start over, and start working with Republicans on the issues that matter to American families – especially jobs and our struggling economy.”
Boehner said Republicans have “better solutions” to curb spending, cut taxes, create new jobs, control the debt, and lower health care costs.
“Out-of-touch Washington Democrats can now do one of two things: work with Republicans to help the country, or keep their heads in the sand and face the consequences this November.”
Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said the Massachusetts election sends Washington politicians a “deafening message.”
“As they did in recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey, the American people are telling Washington, D.C., enough is enough… After years of borrowing, spending, bailouts and government takeovers, the American people are demanding that this administration and this Democratic Congress come to its senses, end their fiscal recklessness and work to create jobs.”
Pence urged President Obama to “heed the voice of the American people” by scrapping the government takeover of health care. “[L]et’s work together to put our fiscal house in order and pass legislation that will put Americans back to work," Pence said.