January 5th, 2010
03:50 PM ET
4 years ago

Steele: GOP will not take over House in 2010, NRCC disagrees

Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections.
Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections.

(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.


Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • NRCC • Popular Posts
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. katiec

    It is beyond me how any intelligent person can continue to support a party whose main goals are to destroy our president, party first, win at any cost, obstruct anything and everything regardless of merits and benefits, fight for big business and continue to sacrifice the American people and our country with their irresponsible, radical tactics.
    The Cheneys, Gingrich, DeMint etc and the republican politicians
    are well on their way to becoming our countries most dangerous
    domestic terrorists.

    January 5, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom

    Amusing to read "it was the GOP that kept the country safe, remember"..... please spare us the lie.

    September 11th, happened on George W. Bush's watch. He ignored warnings of an impending attack, of chatter. Bush could have heeded those warnings and beefed up security at our Nation's airports, but no, he didn't!

    The GOP continues to excuse Bush & Dick, however, the GOP WAS IN CHARGE when ........ 3,000 Americans died.

    January 5, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Alan

    Whatever happened to political parties with a primary goal of "BETTERING AMERICA."

    I see clearly the Rebublican agenda now: "Take back the seats any way we can" which includes lying, cheating or whatever it takes.

    Here's a new plan for ya: Try WORKING with the current agenda adding YOUR touch. Play up your CONTRIBUTIONS and someone might actually look at voting for you again. Keep trying to derail ANYTHING the opposing party does, just to get re-elected by your craziest of crazies in the base and you'll continue to lose ground.

    Sheesh.

    January 5, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. WIL

    Please everyone get right with your maker the END IS NEAR a republican told the truth it could only mean the end is near LOL.

    January 5, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "It was the GOP that kept this country safe, remember?"

    Right...and that first year, well, that doesn't count? Besides, it was Bush and Cheney's national security policies and standards that allowed the Nigerian kid to end up on an airplane. Obama hasn't overhauled the national security system yet because the GOP has kept him too busy with the economy they destroyed, the wars they started and the obstructionism they've engaged in. WOOPS!

    January 5, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Torch

    If the Dems keep pushing it. these ruinious policies, sure it can happen. I don't want more taxes, I don't want to pay for others healthcare, global warming is a scam.

    It's so cold right now that I actually saw a Democrat with his hands in his own pockets

    January 5, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Doug - Dallas

    Michael Steele is an idiot!

    Until the party of No gets back in touch with the American public, nothing is going to change. If they think Americans haven't noticed their behavior, all they have to do is look at their poll numbers, which are in the tank.

    Instead of trying to tear down America they should be trying to rebuild it after Bush and his buddies destroyed it. Oh wait; they are Bush's buddies, DUH.

    January 5, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "But, the loss of even one senate seat is catastrophic for the dems. "

    And the country. We cannot afford as a nation or as a society to spend 2011 & 2012 getting absolutely nothing done because 41 pantwetting ideologues are willing to support the status quo at any cost.

    January 5, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Silence Dogoode

    One cannot do public service without acquiring power, they are not independent of each other...the Dumb-o-crates are in charge...gas prices still soar, emplyment soars, they waste money and are trying to gut the US Constitution with illegal health care and are trying to ensalve our future generations with debt....

    January 5, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Poor old uncle Mike,he will be looking for a new job when his boss "Rush the pig hears about this.hahaha

    January 5, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. R in Maine

    Finally, the "chairman" has a thought that is consistent with reality and his leadership.

    January 5, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. A Guy

    This is probably the most honest sound byte we've ever heard from this guy.

    January 5, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Louise

    I voted for Obama and the Rep candidate for Senate. I'd love to see a Republican Senate with the House and President being Democrat. If the Repubs want what's best for the country, they'll push hard to get the Senate inf 2010. I'm a Democrat and no fan of many Republican principles but I love this country and think a two-party legislative system is best.

    January 5, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Lori in St Pete

    This is one instance where I have to agree with him.

    January 5, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. windmill

    Looks to me like Steele doesn't have much confidence in his own party!! HA!!!!! You'd think after ALL of the WORDS and ACTIONS of the PARTY OF NO in the past year, they'd have great self-esteem, and KNOW they were going to gain seats in 2010!!!!!! Steele is being used as a pawn by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, AND Beck! Steele was a very BAD choice for being a leader of the GOP!!! He now has come out with a book bashing every last Republican President since Reagan!! I doubt that will garner any votes or favors for him!! WELL, WELL, WHAT A GRAND OLD PARTY!!!!!!! THE PARTY OF NO!!!!! THE IGNORANT PARTY OF NOW!!!!!

    January 5, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Michael from Ventura

    It's a rare day when I agree with anything that this guy says–but the republiCANTS will NOT take over the House in 2010!

    January 5, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. katiec

    Those who state Bush and the republicans kept us safe are ignoring the growth of terrorists and terrorists organizations under their command. The hate, disrespect grew after the unwarranted, irresponsible attack on Iraq and are at levels never before faced
    by our world. And the deaths, injuries of our Americans and
    innocent Iraquis are most certainly nothing to brag about.
    The war with Iraq put the fight against terrorism on the back burner.
    Perhaps if we had initially put all our resources against Afghanistan where the
    real problem was, we would not have the turmoil that now exists.

    January 5, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Sreenath Jagannathan

    I don't understand how any American can find Republicans credible on National Security to any degree, considering that they have voted against measures that would strengthened our National Security AND also made terrorists across the World more numerous. Republicans like Peter King scream so loudly about President Obama on many things, especially National Security, but have done NOTHING to make our country safer.
    Not to mention Republicans never questioned President Bush when he dithered in the weeks before 9/11, not thinking about strengthening security measures that might have prevented Osama Bin Laden's terrorists from getting to the planes that were headed for New York. Republicans had the opportunity to prevent 9/11 and they failed. They have absolutely no nerves to criticize democrats due that hypocrisy PERIOD. Democrats have voted for measures that would have strengthened National Security.

    January 5, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Lori in St Pete

    I like your thinking Babs. Tell me, would your demands be retroactive to all former elected officials, or would it only apply to Dems?

    January 5, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Steve

    Republicans may have one more gasp left, but as more Americans get older, and as there becomes less and less about this country worth preserving, any conservative movement will be reduced to a hopeless cause.

    In the meantime, as Democrats insist on changing anything and everything about our country, decade after decade, just for the sake of change, with a miserable success rate and a legacy of failed utopian schemes, obstruction often seems like the sensible option.

    Whether they realize it or not, for the vast majority of Americans there is a whole hell of a lot about this country that is far, far worse than it was fifty years ago. But I suppose you can't stop so-called progress, and today's Americans have awfully short memories.

    Republicans wish they could mount a resurgence, but they're fooling themselves. It's a lost cause. Sheer demographics mean a continued decline toward lowest-common-denominator mediocrity.

    Basically, since LBJ, it's been one form of crap or another. Previous administration included. And the current one more than most.

    January 5, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. NVa Native

    We are in Iraq because of Repub failure, we are still in Afganistan because of Repub failure, we are in economic nightmare because of Repub failure, Sept 11, 2001 attacks were on Bush/Cheney "watch" and a result of Repub failure.
    No matter how much Fox and hate radio try to re-write history all of these events are historically true. Bush/Cheney did not keep us safe for eight years as thousands of "us" died at the WTC, Pentagon, in a PA field, in Iraq and in Afganistan. And it's not over yet until President Obama can "right" the Bush/Cheney "Wrong".

    January 5, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. MishaJohn

    Attacking the Obamas' daughters choice of schools the other day was a low point for the classless creep. Minor children of politicians – even a president – are always out of bounds. Steele should have been censored by the GOP. That he wasn't shows that the party is morally adrift.

    January 5, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. vic nashville , Tn

    After 10 months GOP will try save some seats what they have now

    January 5, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. NadineCA

    He's just trying to play down what he knows will happen, they will lose but he want's it not to sting too much so he's dumbing up like Palin's odds during her debate with Biden.

    January 5, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Todd

    that is the only sensible thing I've ever heard attributed to him. As the economy continues to recover, and the health care bill is passed, and Democrats start really moving forward now that they have seen there is no point in even trying to work with the party of no, the midterm will be a wash. r's may pick up a few, d's may pick up a few, but no significant shift one way or the other. however, we need one or two more Ds in the senate to REALLY get some progress, and make it so we can finally just throw lieberman out on his arse.

    January 5, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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