A former Democratic governor who is exploring a possible presidential campaign as the “anti-Hillary,” now says he can’t think of a single nice thing to say about President Barack Obama.
As former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer explores a possible 2016 campaign for the White House, he has largely targeted his focus on being the “anti-Hillary." That stance certainly makes sense, as any potential rival to Hillary Clinton would face a steep climb against her expected candidacy.
But Schweitzer has recently unveiled a new fold to his potential presidential run, as an anti-Obama candidate.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin, Schweitzer deferred when asked to name one positive accomplishment by the Obama administration.
“My mother, God rest her soul, told me 'Brian, if you can’t think of something nice to say about something change the subject,' " Schweitzer said.
• On the issue of Obama's record on civil liberties, Schweitzer said the NSA revelations were “un-effing-believable."
• On the Obama administration's ability to lead: "They just haven’t been very good at running things.”
• On Obamacare: "It will collapse on its own weight."
In fact, Sarlin said Schweitzer would only go so far as to praise Obama for being the first African American president.
As Talking Points Memo pointed out, this is not the first time Schweitzer has had tough words for the president, referring to him as a “ corporatist” last month and saying his administration is “just not good at getting things done.”
Of course, while these comments are being shared across the Internet by conservative outlets, Schweitzer’s jabs are actually being lobbied from a progressive angle.
As Schweitzer told the Weekly Standard, "We can’t afford any more hard right. We had eight years of George Bush. Now we’ve had five years of Obama, [who], I would argue, in many cases has been a corporatist."
But on the other hand, Ezra Klein notes that Schweitzer has a few conservative beliefs as well, expressing skepticism of gun control and supporting the coal industry.
So, is there room for a Democrat to run to the left of Obama in 2016?
In their daily First Read column, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro note that Schweitzer already flirted with, then backed away from, a potential Senate run this year.
“American politics is full of surprises,” they write. “But right now, the smart money is on Hillary facing little to no opposition if she runs in 2016.”