Van Hollen: Dems will keep congressional majority

Chris Van Hollen

AP photo

From NBC's Lea Sutton

Not so fast!

That was Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen's message today for congressional Republicans, who he says are "already popping the champagne bottles" to celebrate November's elections. During a news conference at the National Press Club, Van Hollen said Republicans were having a "pre-mature celebration" and that Democrats will retain the majority.

He listed three reasons why he believes the GOP will be disappointed in November:

1) Americans don't want to return to the same economic policy that "got us into trouble in the first place." Van Hollen said that after eight years of the Bush administration, "our economy was driven into the ditch."

2) GOP candidates emerging from primaries across the country are on the "far right" of the political spectrum, and that is not what America wants.

3) "Campaigns do matter," and congressional Democrats have been preparing since last year. "We have been prepping for what we knew would be tough midterms from the beginning", he said

In particular, Van Hollen blamed George W. Bush's economic policies for the damaged economy, saying that 700,000 jobs per month were being lost when Bush left office and that there was a "1.3 trillion deficit the day President Obama was sworn into office." He said that Republicans, like House Minority Leader John Boehner, planned to enact the same agenda going forward, and that the American people don't want that.

When asked if he was concerned about recent Democratic campaign advertisements that seemed to be "running away from" Speaker Pelosi and President Obama, the Democrat said that the job of a member of Congress is to represent their constituents; that the Democrats have a spectrum of views; and that they are doing the right thing by demonstrating that they are "independent thinkers."