Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (front) along with (from left) Rep. Chris Van Hollen, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra and Assistant Leader James Clyburn leave a news conference on the second day of the House Democratic retreat in Cambridge, Md.
Updated: 3 p.m.
CAMBRIDGE, Md. — Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel on Friday unveiled the party’s majority-making campaign slogan for 2012: “Drive for 25.”
The New York Democrat, speaking to reporters at the Members’ retreat here, said the new initiative represents the number of seats Democrats need to win back control of the House in 2012.
“This morning our Caucus kicked off our ‘Drive for 25,’” said Israel, whom Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tapped to head the DCCC late last year. “We need 25 seats to take back the majority. Our central message is ‘Make it in America.’ My central job is to help us make it back to the majority. Because when we get back to the majority, we can help the middle class.”
Pelosi said she thought the “Drive for 25” would be a primary part of Democrats’ messaging over the next two years; she also said she believes Democrats can retake control of the House in 2012.
“We have great prospects to do that,” she said. “We had a wave election in ’06, we won 30. We won 25 in ’08. They took some of that back, plus a few more. We think Steve gave us a very realistic, tough-minded appraisal of how we could get that done.”
Pelosi said “a great deal” of Democrats’ efforts to win back the chamber would hinge on their messaging strategy.
“You can’t recruit volunteers and you can’t raise the resources without a message and inspiration,” she said. “So it will all be about that.”
Democrats also plan to refine the way they talk about creating jobs and improving the economy.
Pelosi has said Democrats will judge GOP economic proposals on three criteria: do they create jobs, reduce the deficit and help the middle class.
“It’s going to be message,” she said. “It’s going to be mobilization at the grass-roots level.”
Republicans were quick to attack the new slogan.
“House Democrats will need more than a empty sales pitch to earn back the trust of middle-class families who continue to see them obstruct every attempt to grow our economy and block businesses from creating jobs," National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay said in a statement. "Behind this cheap marketing slogan are the three words Americans have no interest in seeing ever again – Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.