Bayh Criticizes 'Ultraliberal' Leanings After GOP Upset
Bayh Backs Away From Obama Health Care Plan After Upset
Last Updated: 1215 days ago
Tuesday's political shocker in Massachusetts is bringing harsh criticism from Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who some say is now vulnerable.Republicans picked up the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, with Scott Brown defeating Martha Coakley in a close, bitter race.The loss of such a solidly Democratic seat has prompted Bayh, who faces re-election this year, to severely criticize the party's strategy and approach."If you lose Massachusetts, if it's not a wake-up call, there's no hope of waking up," he said Wednesday.Brown's successful campaign against Coakley was based largely on his opposition to President Barack Obama's health care program, to which Bayh was a late and reluctant convert.Without mentioning the president or congressional leaders by name, Bayh on Wednesday sharply criticized the Democrats' attempt to push what he called an ultraliberal program."The only way we're able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals or progressives making common cause with independents and moderates," he said. "Whenever you have just the furthest left elements in the Democratic Party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country, that's not going to work too well."Bayh said the problem isn't that Democrats aren't fighting hard enough for their program, but that the American people just don't believe it will help them.Bill Blomquist, a political science professor at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis said he doesn't think Bayh is lashing out at Obama per se."I don't think Sen. Bayh is interested in throwing the president under the bus, or meant to do it," he said. "I think he's probably just putting some distance between himself and the congressional leadership at this point."State Sen. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, who is seeking the nomination to oppose Bayh, said he's greatly encouraged by Tuesday's vote, and the possibility that Bayh might have some fear about November's election."Oh, I think there should be," Stutzman said. "I mean, you know, who would have thought Ted Kennedy's seat would be in Republican hands today?"Bayh and his aides aren't explaining his comments. Calls by 6News to his Washington office seeking clarifications were not returned.