Democratic Members of Congress were missing from President Barack Obama’s post-debate spin team last week, but they will be in on the action after tonight’s debate between Vice President Joseph Biden and the GOP vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).
From the House, Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, and Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) are on the team of surrogates. From the Senate side, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) will step forward for the vice president.
Van Hollen stood in as Ryan during Biden’s debate preparations.
The announcement from the Obama campaign of the surrogate team includes some pre-emptive attacks on Ryan’s honesty, including hitting him for referring incorrectly to his marathon time from years ago on a radio interview.
Last week, after the debate between Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Republicans relied on a chorus of Congressional voices to herald Romney’s performance.
Spinning for Obama were primarily top aides — David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Jim Messina and Jen Psaki — rather than elected officials.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) were in Denver at the debate sitting with Obama’s wife, Michelle, but neither took a high-profile role defending Obama on television or in print stories recapping the instant reactions of surrogates.
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.