While several Democratic Senate candidates have stumbled over the question of whether they voted for Barack Obama, Florida congressional candidate Gwen Graham made it clear in no uncertain terms she would not support Nancy Pelosi as leader of her party in the House.
In response to a debate question this week from RealClearPolitics' Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon about whether she would vote to keep Pelosi as Democratic leader, Graham, the daughter of former Democratic governor and Sen. Bob Graham, did not hesitate, reports the Panama City News Herald
"No, I would not, and this is why: I believe we need to have new leadership on both sides of the aisle. The leadership that we have today has become so polarizing and so politicized," Graham said. "I’m not blaming either of them; it’s just the reality."
And if that answer were not clear enough, Graham also declared, "I am not Nancy Pelosi," reports the Tampa Bay Times
"Neither am I Barack Obama or Harry Reid," she added.
In addition to distinguishing herself from Pelosi, Graham also criticized Democratic policies. She said that Democrats probably "bit off more than they could chew" when they moved Obamacare through Congress without bipartisan support.
For his part, Graham's opponent, Republican Rep. Steve Southerland, would not commit to voting to replace House Speaker John Boehner, saying that nobody wants the job, so "you can't replace somebody with nobody," reports the News Herald.
The race between Graham and Southerland, the incumbent, always was expected to be close. In fact, the House Majority PAC
, Pelosi's leadership political action committee, targeted the 2nd congressional district as a potential pick-up in 2013, according to Sunshine State News.
The race is rated by Rothenberg Political Report
as a "toss-up."
Both campaigns have released internal polling
that shows their candidate in the lead, according to the News Herald.
Graham's attempt to keep the House Democratic leader at arms' length is not surprising considering Republicans have continuously characterized her as a lobbyist with ties to Pelosi and Obama.
The National Republican Congressional Committee started airing an ad this week that says Graham is untrustworthy because she "claims to be an independent voice," but has "taken thousands of dollars from Nancy Pelosi, and worked for ultra-liberal Howard Dean."
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