Gibbs on GOP House Control: He Stated the Obvious’
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that he simply “stated the obvious” when he suggested on a Sunday talk show that Republicans could take control of the House this November.
“I think I did what is maybe uncommon in this town, and yesterday I opened my mouth and stated the obvious,” Gibbs told reporters. “I do not believe that you all are now scurrying around to cover this election markedly different based on my having said that there are a number of seats that are in play.”
During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the White House spokesman said there is “no doubt there’s enough seats in play” to allow “Republicans to take control” in the 112th Congress.
Gibbs’ remarks are already ruffling feathers on Capitol Hill, where some senior Democratic aides said the White House is out of touch with Members’ needs as they fight to keep their seats in a rough election year.
The fact that Gibbs would talk about Republicans taking over the House is “just one more piece of evidence that a lot of White House staff don’t understand the importance of the House to them, let alone how to protect it,” one senior Democratic aide said.
Another senior Democratic aide dismissed Gibbs’ comments as “much ado about nothing” and said Democrats will keep their majority.
“We aren’t going to lose the House, and our track record on special elections this year backs that up,” the aide said.
Ryan Rudominer, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, acknowledged that Democrats face a challenge but said they aren’t about to lose control of the House.
“The DCCC and our Members have been preparing since day one last year for what we knew historically would be a very challenging election cycle,” Rudominer said. “We know how to win in tough environments.”
But the National Republican Congressional Committee seized on Gibbs’ remarks as proof that the Democratic majority is in jeopardy. The campaign arm sent an e-mail to supporters Monday afternoon that includes a link to a video clip of Gibbs’ press briefing and that characterizes Gibbs’ comments as being “to DCCC’s chagrin.”