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Rep. Ellison Defends Obama 2012 Candidacy

Some Democrats frustrated with the president.

President Barack Obama has undeniably miffed some of his more liberal supporters during his last three years in office. The Guantanamo Bay prison remains open, financial institutions blamed for the sub-prime mortgage mess are again living high on the hog, and, recently, the administration shot down proposed tougher regulations on carbon dioxide designed to fight global warming.

Despite it all, though, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said he still thinks a Progressive primary challenge to Obama would only hurt the president's reelection chances in 2012. Ellison, together with his fellow co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus pushed back against calls from Democrats like the left-leaning Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) for someone to dispute their party's 2012 nomination for the presidential election.

The idea, according to Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-OR), as quoted by The Hill newspaper, would be to:

"(...)push the president and his advisers a bit … to give us back the candidate we had three years ago."

Ellison and co-chair Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) were having none of it, according to The Hill.

Ellison said a primary opponent would “undermine our unity, and we need everybody in the same boat.” 

More Calls for Hamas To Release Prisoner

A few days after Ellison and other American Muslim leaders were publicly thanked by the father of an Israeli soldier held captive by the armed Palestinian faction Hamas for their calls for the soldier's release, French Muslim leaders echoed Ellison's call. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Gilad Shalit has been held for over 1,000 days.

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