In her first interview since taking the job, Washington Sen. Patty Murray said Thursday that she knew chairing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2012 cycle would be a challenge, but that helping Democratic incumbents return in 2013 was important enough that she needed to step up to the plate.
"I have never taken on a challenge because it's easy. I have accepted this challenge because it's the right thing to do," Murray said on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown."
Coming off a 2010 cycle that saw them lose six Senate seats, Democrats are facing an increasingly difficult election cycle in 2012, when twice as many Democrats as Republicans are up for re-election. That ratio is partly because of the Democratic recruiting and fundraising successes in 2006.
Murray, who just won a difficult race of her own, initially turned down the chairwoman job. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was unable to find anyone else willing to take on such a lofty task.
"As I look at this field of 23 people ... I know they're passionate, they care about their own state, they are determined to make sure our country gets back on track," Murray said. "And the choice was, to me, can we help them do that. And I believe it's a responsibility that is important today, and I'm willing to take it on because I want them back here working for our country in the future."
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.