“There are 63 undefined, unvetted Republican freshmen, and we are introducing them to their constituents,” he said. “And their constituents are getting buyer’s remorse on many of them.”
That, he said, is because Republicans have not lived up to their 2010 campaign promises on the economy and to change the way Washington works. But, he said, “We’re not going to win the House back, we’re not going to get 25 seats, based on missteps, half-steps and back-steps. We will win it by putting the pedal to the metal.”
The DCCC will begin the laborious process by targeting 14 districts controlled by a Republican that both Obama and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won in the past two presidential elections.
That includes five districts in Pennsylvania, two in Illinois and others in New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin. “This is where we begin,” he said. “It’s going to be sequential.”
The DCCC list includes districts Democrats have tried and failed to win in strong years for the party, including the district of Rep. Dave Reichert (R) east of Seattle and the Pennsylvania districts of Republican Reps. Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach to the north and west of Philadelphia.
Some political observers scoffed when National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said early in the 2010 cycle that his goal was to overcome Democrats’ majority of more than three dozen seats.
Israel would not go that far yet, but he exuded confidence in the fact that the smaller hurdle he has — 25 seats — is possible. The redistricting dynamic and the uncertainty of the landscape 21 months from now makes predicting results impossible.
“Three months ago we had lost the election and taking the House back seemed impossible,” he said. “Three months later, taking the House back seems doable.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.