Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Hagan Criticizes Obama Ahead of North Carolina Visit

Hagan has been campaigning on the VA issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:38 p.m. | Sen. Kay Hagan doesn’t sound thrilled President Barack Obama is coming to town.

The North Carolina Democrat, one of the most vulnerable senators, issued a terse statement about Obama’s veterans policy ahead of his planned Tuesday visit to her home state.

The White House announced late Friday that Obama will deliver remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention. The appearance gave Hagan an opportunity to criticize the president in the wake of a scandal that has captured national attention. Hagan’s office blasted her statement just 31 minutes after the White House released the schedule.

“The Obama Administration has not yet done enough to earn the lasting trust of our veterans and implement real and permanent reforms at the VA,” Hagan said.

She added, “I hope to hear the President address these challenges at the American Legion’s National Convention in Charlotte. I will be there to discuss some of the steps I want to see taken in Washington to uphold the commitment our government has made to North Carolina’s veterans.”

The statement noted her role on the Armed Services Committee and that she “comes from a strong military family” with a two-star Marine general as her father-in-law, Navy veterans as her brother and father and a Vietnam veteran husband. She also has two nephews who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s not uncommon for Democrats in difficult races to avoid being seen with Obama thanks to his sagging popularity ratings, and Hagan did not show up the last time the president was in her state. But Hagan is in a more unusual position given it is recess and she will attend the event.

Earlier this year, another Democratic senator had a similar approach. Sen. Mark Pryor invited Obama to tour tornado damage in Arkansas, using the appearance to present himself as a leader challenging the president to help his constituents.

Hagan faces Republican state house speaker Thom Tillis this fall.

The Tillis campaign issued its own statement soon after, calling her comments “too little, too late,” and suggesting Hagan was “refusing to take any responsibility for breaking her promises to veterans, instead pointing blame at the Obama administration to distract from her own failures.”

The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rate this race Tilts Democratic.


Related stories:

Democrats Work to Mitigate VA Scandal as Political Issue

Vulnerable Democrats Demand Eric Shinseki Departure

Senate Democrats Launch $9.1 Million Ad Buy in North Carolina

Why Pryor Decided Time Was Ripe to Appear With Obama

Top 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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  • meanmarine

    The chickens are coming home to roost. How many more Dems up for re-election will turn out to be Judas and turn on their messiah.

  • Ruby Lee

    Here’s one vote that’s definitely not going Hagan’s way. She has been a terrible senator.

  • southerndemnut

    George W. Bush has neither been seen nor heard from since he left office in 2009 nor did he appear (in person) at either GOP conventions. With that said, Hagan has been more visible on the veterans issue that our other US Senator, Richard Burr, who seems to have irritated most veterans groups lately and is thought of as being furniture. (Seen but not heard).

  • jqc1970

    Hagan is nothing but an Obama rubber stamp who is only more visible on veterans’ issues because she knows she may lost in November, so she’s grasping at anything she can think of. Get over trying to defend the lying biotch.

  • A Friend

    Trying to promote the propaganda campaign that she is a moderate. LOL! Hagan voted for ObamaCare as well as another vote to fund Obamacare by raising interest rates on student loans. She also voted for additional restrictions on gun rights, for allowing state sales taxes on online sales, and approved judges who do not believe in freedom of religion. Hagan also helped write amnesty legislation and is a huge abortion supporter.

  • luckystrike57

    I see no difference between Dole and Hagan in the way they ran their Senate office. It is time for Thom Tillis to step in and take over.

  • franbunc

    Hagan has been a reasonably good senator, compared to Byrd and of course Dole, who was absentee. I see no reason for her to badmouth Obama – gains her nothing nor advances Democrats.

  • Deepak Into

    There’s really no major difference between today’s liberalism and its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors.

  • pillpoppinpuppy

    The funny thing is the administration probably wrote those comments for Hagan. It’s all politics all the time at the WH.

  • Steve Dietrich

    Obama will tell the veterans everything they want to hear. But as usual he will not follow through on any of it.

  • Oscar Y. Harward


    You would think that with Democrat, President Obama being Commander in
    Chief to address the American Legion in Charlotte, NC and with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) being a sitting US Senator representing North Carolina, and with Sen. Kay Hagan being a sitting member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and with
    both of these Democrats in the While House and US Senate working so closely
    together, and Sen. Hagan’s voting record of 92% voting together; YOU WOULD


  • queer_america

    Hagen will nevertheless have her skirt over her head and her legs splayed for Obama.

  • meanmarine

    Who would a thought?

  • SemperFiMarine

    The fact that she sits on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, she has “Strong Military Ties”, yet the Armed Forces is in a death spiral, she NEEDS TO GO! NEXT!

    My Take

  • Dirk Diggler

    She’s a Democrat, but her record shows she is an independent thinker. I know some people want to put candidates in a box, but Kay Hagen voting record is varied as it should be for any Senator who is the truth..

  • Dirk Diggler

    Mix your metaphors much?

  • Dirk Diggler

    The armed forces is in a changing atmosphere. No longer are we fighting large land battles and large sea battles which require armor, thousands of ships, and massing of troops. It’s more small warfare, limited conflicts, drones, special forces. Get used to it. Just because you are for modernization, streamlining, efficiency does not mean you’re anti armed forces.

  • Dirk Diggler

    Wow, sounds like a personal fantasy. Seen a therapist lately about this dream you have?

  • Dirk Diggler


  • Dirk Diggler


  • Dirk Diggler

    Great way to gain more women voters! Keep it up. Maybe you’ll gather some more white males around the cooler.

  • Spence

    Let’s start by reintegrating hundreds of millions of dollars back into the medical and memorial agencies by cutting out the administrative overhead of VISN (Veteran Integrated Service Network) and MISN (Memorial Integrated Service Network) offices and closing them down. In VHA in the 80’s there were only 4 regional offices who helped Washington carry out the mission of the VA. Now there are 22 VISN offices and hundreds of high paid staffers sucking medical funds away from the hospitals and veterans.

  • Spence

    On another note, Senator Hagan as well as the other politicians visit their VA hospitals annually and are lead down the hallways on a structured tour and fed a story line that glosses over the realities facing the facilities. When is she and her peers going to take the lead and go where they want at their facilities? When are they going to speak with veterans sitting in the waiting rooms for hours? Of course they speak with a few here and there and those that they do, typically are polite. But then again, they aren’t going down to the emergency room waiting area where veterans wait 6, 8, 10 or more hours for care. They aren’t taking a tour of the locked psychiatric units seeing the realities of the war on the mental health of our young military members.
    BTW, let’s not be clouded by the fact that she is currently campaigning which prevents her from grandstanding at the VA or any other federal office. What about when she won the last election? She could have showed up unannounced and told leadership she wants to see what she is fighting for…..

  • mikeandle
  • SemperFiMarine

    I totally support “modernization, streamlining and efficiency”, when done in a thoughtful and measured way. I DON’T agree with the current plan of SLASH and HASH and let’s see where that puts us. The CURRENT figures indicate a trend to BELOW those prior to WWII and THAT concerns me. Until we have the firepower, in whatever form that takes, we still need Boots Ready. If the World powers view us as a weakened nation, there are those who just may attempt to “Test our Mettle”, will we be able to respond?

  • Albert Aho

    On a related note, here we have the chief liar lying to the face of the American people:

  • Nick Bradshaw

    In a related article we find our resident marxist agitator blaming white people for his cratering approval ratings:

  • Richard M

    Very funny, Hagan’s been one of Obama’s most consistent supporters in Congress. A vote for Hagan is definitely a vote for Obama.

  • jqc1970

    Gawd, you’re stupid.

  • Roberta Crichton

    In related news, the Egyptians have filed a criminal complaint against Obama in the International Criminal Court: is being charged with crimes against humanity for his providing of aid and comfort to the Islamist terrorist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Rose Glassez

    The myth of Obama is an ever-shifting mirage of deceit and delusions.

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