(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections, predicting that the GOP will not retake the House in 2010.
Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity Monday night, Steele suggested the Democrats' current 79-seat advantage in the chamber is too big a hurdle to overcome.
"We are beginning to do assessments on the individual races, but I think overall, given what this administration's proclivities are, we are going to see nice pick ups in the House," he said.
But asked directly if the party had a shot at taking over the House, Steele responded: "Not this year."
But a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee vigorously disagreed with Steele's assessment, saying the GOP has a "very real shot" at wining the chamber.
"The NRCC's goal...has always been to recapture the majority in 2010," spokesman Ken Spain said. "Independent political analysts and even liberal columnists have stated that Republicans have a very real shot at taking back the majority in 2010. Make no mistake about it, we are playing to win."
Given the current Democratic majority, Republicans would need to win at least 40 seats to regain control of the chamber - a sizeable but not unprecedented number. In the historic 1994 midterm elections, 54 seats switched from Democratic to Republican. Steele declined to give a number on how many seats he is hoping to take from the Democrats.
While it is common for party leaders to downplay expectations ahead of an election cycle, congressional Democrats are pouncing on Steele's prediction.
"If the NRCC hasn't convinced the Republican National Committee chairman they can win, it's no wonder that Tea Party activists, Republican small donors, and Republican House Members are not confident and have failed to invest in the NRCC," said Jennifer Crider, Democratic Congressional Committee spokeswoman.
Steele is finally speaking without lying....the truth actually works!!!!
Steele is delusional. The saddest part about Steele is that he cannot recognize that he is a tool for Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and the other clowns who purport to be the leaders of the Republican party.
These people put party before country while trying to claim they are the real Americans. The Refuseniks are the party most responsible for the problems we face today and they consistently refuse to take responsibility for their actions.
Time for a total GOVERNMENT OVERHAUL with the players held accountable for their actions, inactions, indescretions, misconducts, failure to represent, bribery, extortion, aiding and abetting and on and on and on! Working America or what is left of it is sick and tired of eating beenie weenies to make ends meet while our Intellectual in Chief, his majesty the Messiah President Barrack Hussein Obama imports $150.00 steaks, plays gold and rents the entire cinema to watch a movie, all on our dime!
Of course Mr. Steele is just dead right. Being honest for the first time.
This country runs better with Party A in the White House and Party B in the Congress.
GOP will be extremely lucky to pick up six seats which they will promptly give back in 2012
Since they refuse to do anything to contribute to the legislative process, why doesn't the GOP just give up their seats and concentrate their efforts on propaganda and publicity stunts?
Maybe not, however we need to get rid of the TOP idiots – Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, and a law needs to be written on term length. No more forever jobs – 6 year term, no benefits after leaving, no health insurance, they get what they are shoving down our throats. They are all to pay into social security... PERIOD. no more back room deals. and that term goes for the President as well. And the top news media need to be unbias and report the news ... unlike Larry King who kisses Obama's butt.
the Evil Party returns
Actually, if the GOP would readmit moderates like Colin Powell and Chuck Hagel, maybe they would win some elections. Alas, the GOP wants to be the party of Cheney, Palin, Limbaugh, Gingrich, et al. Once the extremists completely drive the Party of Lincoln into the ground, hopefully someone with some sense will be there to resurrect it.
I think you underestimate the kitchen table thinkin' ......
Nothing is too big for those who have faith in God to make things right!
Steele you are a democrats best friend
Of course, only by Steeling!
Cheney is such a clueless moron. It's a miracle that our country is still in existence after eight years of Cheney. We could have easily collapsed on the rubble pile of history just like the former Soviet Union, which Cheney wanted to re-create on American soil.
Sorry, the GOP majority simply has not been gone long enough for us to forget their rampant ineptitude yet. Shoot for 2020 or some point beyond. That might be enough contrition time. Also, tell Dick Cheney to shut up. He's not helping your cause at all.
Even though it is usual for the minority party to pick up a number of seats during an off election year and the Republicans have been acting like a bunch of ..., I can tell you unequivocally that they will not take over the House of Representatives. The Republicans who are in Congress now are the worst bunch of folks that I have seen and heard in my 63 years. They are embarrassing to this country. No one wants them leading our country and they will get their just due. I have never seen a group so disrespectful to a sitting President and so unwilling to work with him to help our country. THEY WILL GET THEIR JUST DUE.
I am not sure if Americans are ready to put the congress back into the hands of the party that almost destroyed the country, but who knows, Bush was elected to a second term, and he had almost ruined the country with and unnecessary war and tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% in his first 4 years.
Until the Republican Party allows a Libertarian take-over, and pushes non-fiscal conservatives to the periphery I and many others will continue to vote Democrat. I'm not happy with everything that has happened so far, but I cannot forget what 6 years of Republican-controlled politics did to us. Led us into a false war, bankrupted our country, indebted us to competing/untrustworthy nations, placement of dangerously conservative supreme judges, the need for a stimulus plan, and the continued intellectual inadequacy and rhetorically challenged Republican law-makers and their proponents.
I'm what some people call "Liberal" (which, apparently, means anybody who's not a right wing extremist), but I applaud this guy for being honest. It's downright refreshing for someone in his position (ESPECIALLY in the Republican Party) to be truthful when answering these types of questions. The comment from the Democratic spokeswoman was predictable and cheap – and it's embarassing.
The American people are fickle and many people vote under the misguided notion that the opposite party should control congress. But if the republicans were to take over the congress I do not see how the government of Barrack Obama would be able to get anything moved through congress. It is hard enough now because the republicans are trying to block everything Obama does. If they had a majority it would be awful for our country. I hope Steele is right and they do not take control.
Steele is probably right. That doesn't mean they should TRY to win, just don't let your expectations exceed reality.
The difference between the 1994 and 2010 elections is unlike Obama, Clinton was drowning in scandals and Gingrich was the kind of leader who was able to rally the troops–something the republicans lack today.
Whether you like it or not, Obama has pursued and succeeded in implementing MANY of his campaign promises. The economy looks to be turning around. Those of you who think there will be a republican sweep in 2010, really need to get your heads checked. You are completely delusional! Republicans have NEVER done anything good for this country. The GOP is nothing more then a terrorist cell with voting privilages.
Sorry libs George Bush may have got you elected but he won’t keep you in office. Independents are jumping ship!
180 million people have health insurance, mostly through their employer. 25 million don't. This health care debacle will force employers to drop coverage for their employees. Medicare and Medicad are currently 38 trillion dollars in debt and going broke in 7 years, and Obama's plan is to borrow half a trillion dollars from Medicare and Medicaid to fund his new entitlement program?. We can't even cover our seniors and our poor, and now we are going to force 180 million people into this kind of system? The reality is, this WILL bankrupt our country. Canada has only 60 million people in their country and their system is already imploding and they are bringing back private insurance companies because it is bankrupting their country. What are we doing? This is suicide! Anyone with half a brain can see that. Obama is a liar and not a good leader. His "I have a dream" speeches do nothing, he is borrowing against all of our childrens futures, and when the country tanks he will be out of office, and will have passed his failure as a president on to everyone else.
Steele is correct. The republicans are the only ones who are jumping up and down and trying to convince themselves they are going to take back congress. I hope they keep on spouting their lies, their crap and their hate and violence. Then we will see just how many seats THEY ARE GOING TO LOOSE.