An increasing trend among top Democrats running for re-election in November’s midterms has them pitting themselves against their own party, as well as President Biden, despite their past statements and voting records telling a different story.
This group of vulnerable Democrats at risk of losing their seats to Republican challengers has progressively sought to paint themselves as moderates, as well as independent-minded members of Congress, and touted what some of them have referred to as their record of standing up to Biden and Democratic Party leadership in order to win re-election.
A review of their congressional voting records and a number of their previous statements suggest the contrary as many of them consistently voted in tandem with the Biden administration’s legislative agenda according to FiveThirtyEight, as well as that of Democratic Party leadership according to ProPublica, and expressed support for Biden and the job he has done as president.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, has been touting what she’s called her record of “fighting back” against Biden, releasing an ad last month accusing his administration of “letting Ohio solar manufacturers be undercut by China.”
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The ad also claimed Kaptur didn’t “work for” Biden and said she was working to protect jobs alongside Ohio’s retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman. She’s also avoided saying whether she would appear with Biden during his visits to her district, after warmly greeting him when came to Ohio in June.
In contrast to her distancing herself from Biden, Kaptur has voted with his legislative agenda 100% of the time as a member of Congress, and has previously said that he would go down in history as “a great president.” She’s also voted in line with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time.
In addition to praising Biden on a number of other occasions, she once stated in that it would be “an honor” to work for him.
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Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., made similar attempts to paint herself differently than her record suggests, telling attendees of a virtual town hall earlier this month that she had bucked the Biden administration on her congressional votes.
“I don’t always vote with Democrats either, for those of you here today,” she said, adding that she “sometimes” votes for Republican-proposed amendments to pieces of legislation.
Craig, however, has voted in line with the Biden administration and Pelosi 100% of the time.
Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Ind., told viewers in a Facebook live stream last month to “vote your interests,” and claimed he had “stayed moderate” and connected to his community.
His voting record showed he voted with Pelosi and Biden 100% of the time.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., claimed in a July ad that he had “stood up” to fellow Democrats and said he made himself unpopular in Washington, D.C., on certain policy positions, but has a similar track record of voting with Biden and Pelosi 100% of the time.
His attempt to distance himself from the party is complicated further by the fact that he has served as the chief deputy whip of the Democratic Caucus since 2020, a position whose responsibility involves “whipping” votes to support party-backed legislation.
Additionally, Kildee has received support from Pelosi in his campaign, including with fundraising requests sent on his behalf.
“I’m not afraid to get in anybody’s face whose not doing something right for this district… That includes this administration. I have stood up to President Biden,” Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, told a crowd at an event in her district earlier this month, in addition to going extended periods of time without mentioning Biden on the campaign trail.
However, Axne has praised Biden as “a great president,” and said she would always welcome him to Iowa for a visit. Records show that she has voted with the Biden administration and Pelosi 100% of the time.
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Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., has also maintained that she has separated herself from her fellow Democrats.
When asked recently how Biden’s unpopularity had affected her efforts at re-election, Slotkin discussed the need to differentiate herself from the rest of her party.
“You have to establish yourself as something separate from what people see on TV, and that’s difficult. But that’s our job,” she said. “And I’m only one of five Democrats running in 2022 that represents a Trump-voting district. I’ve always had to separate myself from the party, from party leadership.”
Slotkin has, however, voted in tandem with Biden and Pelosi 100% of the time.
Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., has sharply criticized Biden in recent weeks, rebuking his student loan handout plan, as well as his comments regarding “MAGA Republicans,” but has kept a 100% record of voting in line with the president and Democratic leadership.
The trend of Democrats turning away from their support of the Biden administration and their party is not exclusive to those running for re-election in the House of Representatives. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who are running to retain and flip a Senate seat respectively, have upped their criticisms of Biden.
“I’ll continue to stand up to the Biden administration on the issue of securing the border, listening to our frontline personnel down there about needing more border agents, more technology. In some places we need more physical barrier,” Hassan recently told Axios, adding her opposition to Biden’s student loan handouts.
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Despite the criticism, Hassan has voted with the Biden administration 96% of the time, and votes with her party in the Senate 98% of the time.
She has not, however, shied away from Biden on the campaign trail. She has maintained that he’s “always welcome” to join her in a visit to the state.
Ryan has voted with Biden and Pelosi 100% of the time while in Congress, but has said he doesn’t think the president should run for re-election in 2024, citing the need for a “generational move” in both parties.
He did attend an event with Biden last week, the opening of a new Intel manufacturing plant in Ohio, but has otherwise avoided directly answering questions on whether he would welcome Biden’s support on the campaign trail.
The midterm general elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Fox News’ Power Rankings predict Republicans will take control of the House, while the Senate remains a tossup.
Fox News’ Thomas Phippen, Aubrie Spady and Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.