Vulnerable Democrats Distance Themselves From Obama after State of the Union Read more: State of the Union 2014: Senate Democrats Bolt from Barack Obama

Thursday, January 30, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Zeke J Miller
Jan. 29, 2014

President Barack Obama was barely out of the Capitol after delivering his State of the Union address Tuesday before members of his own party began distancing themselves from the president.

In an interview with CNN after the speech, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection this year, took aim at Obama’s focus on using executive actions to go around Congress. ”I’ll be anxious to see what these executive orders are,” he said. “But if they go too far you’ll clearly hear push back from me. There’s no question about it.”

Begich also criticized Obama on energy, objecting to his calls to end oil and gas tax incentives and opposition to opening up more of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. He added that he has no interest in campaigning with Obama, but is open to showing Obama why his policies are wrong.

“When I ran and won was the same year he ran for his first election for the presidency, he lost Alaska by 22 points,” Begich said. “I still won my election. If he wants to come up, I’m not really interested in campaigning. What I’d like him to do is see why his policies are wrong on ANWR for example. He opposes oil and gas development. I’d like to show him why it’s the right move to move that forward to create jobs in oil and gas.”

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor said in a statement that he was disappointed with Obama for not striking a bipartisan tone.

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