August 27th, 2010
01:16 PM ET
4 years ago

Democratic campaign chief blasts Glenn Beck rally

Preparations continue in Washington for Saturday's rally to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Preparations continue in Washington for Saturday's rally to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Washington (CNN) - The Democrats' point man for holding onto the party's majority in the House admitted Friday that the reach and intensity of conservative talk radio and television will be a "challenge" this fall but said voters will be smart enough to see through the "outrageous rhetoric on the right."

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took specific aim at Fox News personality Glenn Beck, who is headlining a "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington this weekend alongside Sarah Palin.

The rally, to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, is being billed as a "non-political event." Van Hollen called that claim nonsense.

"It's blatantly political," the Maryland Democrat said in an appearance at the National Press Club. "I mean, come on. You have seen Glenn Beck and a lot of the talk show hosts on Fox News out there talking about this election for the last 15 months since the day President Obama was elected president.

"You've had a constant tirade against the president, against Democratic efforts to get the economy turned around. Let's call it what it is. It's a blatant political effort."

Van Hollen's speech was an effort by top Democrats to dampen talk about a possible Republican takeover of the lower chamber and push back against House Minority Leader John Boehner, who delivered a major speech of his own this week to outline the GOP's agenda.

The DCCC chair rebutted talk that his party might lose control of the House, arguing that Republicans have nominated Tea Party candidates or "re-treads" from the Bush years who want to return to the "reckless fiscal policies of previous administration."

"I can assure you that despite the Washington summer political chatter, reports of the House Democrats demise are greatly exaggerated," he said.

Van Hollen acknowledged that much of the country's political energy is on the right, but argued that conservatives like Beck and Palin will damage the party in November by turning off independent voters.

"There is no doubt that there is a power to those voices, I would just ask the American people again to listen to where they are coming from," he said. "We just have to counter them by just trying to get the best information we can out there."

Van Hollen returned to his theory when asked about the Beck rally, saying that "Americans are going to be turned off by the outrageous rhetoric on the right."

"Conspiracy theories, rants, there is certainly an element of the electorate that is charged up by that," he said. "But again, I think it's a turn off to the sensible center and the people who constitute the key independent voters in these swing districts. They see that kind of stuff and they say, 'We don't want to go there.' The policies of the previous eight years of the Bush administration are bad enough," he continued. "These guys are way off on the right."


Filed under: 2010 • Chris Van Hollen • Fox News
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Brent

    The US has freedom of speech which Beck & Co. are exercising. There is also freedom of stupidity which his followers are exercising. Such is the case of democracy in America today.

    August 27, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Rep. Chris Van Hollen, you are right on target. Keep after Beck, and learn to beat him up real hard with facts. Point out how Beck is attempting to rewrite history in so many ways. Not even the Bible is sacred to that man. When's Rush Limbaugh going to rear is ugly head nationally? He also needs a licking.

    August 27, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. David Scott

    Beck is a low life, rich, white piece of crap. And a liar to boot.

    August 27, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. vic

    Democrats ignore these people we ignore what ever they say

    FOX lost their credibility as a news media

    August 27, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. redneck

    Outrageous to the lefties; common sense to those grounded in reality!

    August 27, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Concerned American Citizen

    I've watched Glenn Beck's show and I know he is balanced when it comes to Bush and Obama or Republican and Democrats. Having knowledge of the founding principles of this country is dangerous. This awakens and educates the old and young ones what America is all about. Why are liberals so worrisome? Because Common Americans, like me, now has the knowledge to sift their liberal ideas and can no longer be fooled. I am proud to be an American and I know the history of the country I love.

    August 27, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. cnn always liberal all the time

    van hollen, you are desperate, truly desperate . . .

    August 27, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's true Fox News set their platform the day Obama won. Would this have happened had John McCain won and for sure it didn't happen when Bush won. America needs to call them out for who they really are because the days are numbered for all of us.

    August 27, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Steve- Illinois

    They sure are concerned about Beck for how insignificant they claim he is. First they fire a USDA employee because "she's gonna be on Beck, now they are crowing that this thing Becks doing in DC isn't a concern. I find it odd, that he would put out a press release over something of no concern. Especially when today's headlines scream Economy Grinds to Halt! I guess trying to divert attention to Beck is somebody's idea of a plan, when there is no plan.

    Common Sense!

    August 27, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Dave

    I can't wait to see footage of the Beck event, just because it'll be interesting to see that many people with IQ's below 80 gathered in one place.

    It'd also be a great place to go sell magic beans! Seriously, any scam artists out there need to flock to this thing, because it's the most fertile hunting ground they'll ever find. Beck is already a big scam artist himself, a political televangelist for the theocratic right-wing politic-religion. They're gullible and will buy anything, so I don't see why Beck should be the only one capitalizing on them.

    August 27, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. mj

    Very simple, folks. If you don't like Glenn Beck than don't go and don't watch.

    What I think is of major importance is that the Federal Government has given 5 States Waivers on not having to send our Troops overseas Election Ballots for the November elections. They can print them in Spanish, but yet deny our men and women in Uniform their absolute right to vote. Now that gets my attention.

    Wish CNN would find topics of worth and not the Soap Opera drama they have come to focus on.

    August 27, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. jim

    The days when the dems had media coverage all to themselves is over.Rep. Chris Van Hollen is still living in that world and hasn't realized that is "A CHANGIN" When he talks about extreme elements taking control of a party maybe he should look at his own where Obama has decided to create a"socialist utopia".

    August 27, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Irma in North Carolina

    The whole fox gang plus Sarah Palin should not be allowed any where near the white house, lets say a10 mile radius. Fox news should not be allowed to speak on anything that has to do with policies and this goes for all the racist tea party gang. They are all a disgrace to american.

    August 27, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. DIANA

    I understand they're not supposed to talk about politics. That ought to help Sarah – maybe she could show everybody her beauty queen walk or do a talent competion.

    Really, it's insulting that they would choose the day that Martin Luther King gave his famous speech and tarnish it.

    August 27, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Frasier6670

    Well, I'm an independent and seriously the last president and this president have been disastrous for this country. However, this Administration and its agenda is way to socialist and liberal and seems against its own citizens (which clearly frightens me). If you disagree with them your labelled a racist, homophobe and the new phrase is Islamphobe. I can't ever remember an atomosphere like this. We are electing the WRONG PEOPLE. Time to clean house. Please can some REAL AMERICAN with dignity for its people, values for its country and one who believes and fears GOD please step up to the plate.

    August 27, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    You didn't hear the Demoncratic party complaining about media bias during the last presidential election did you? Nope, that's because it's OK when the bias is slanted in their favor. Beck is over the top but you have to realize he's just selling a product that some people are buying. It's no different than self help gurus or anything like that. Not every Republican likes Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. The media bias that helped to elect Obama was and still is sickening. CNN is a main culpret as well.

    August 27, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Bill

    I don't recall Beck claiming to be a newscaster. Being an advocate must be o.k. if you're on any other network because they do it all the time.

    August 27, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Jon from Madison

    How quickly do the Dems forget that Beck was equally as hard on the Bush administration, and use to be the darling of CNN and liberals alike. It is not political because he is a conservative leaning independent. They are just mad that he happens to be taking a side against Obama and Dems instead of Bush now.

    Maybe he is just angry with the way the government is operating. So does most of the country. COngress has even lower approval than the president.

    Again, I love how the liberals loved him when he was baching Bush, but now he can't be trusted because he is speaking out against Obama and his socialist network.

    August 27, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. KAZPORT

    Chris van Hollen hasn't a clue. He is the one saying that the Republicans are out of touch?? Make me laugh. Van Hollen was behind the 8 ball. Musing about the Tea Party and Conservatives. We will see who has the last laugh. November 2

    August 27, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Santa Fean

    I think we lost our "honor" when Ronald " the puppet" Reagan turned and ran when our Marine barracks were bombed Beirut. Remember that? Or when George "awol" Bush lied to get us into Iraq which turned out to be the largest theft of money ever. Congress is controlled by corporations who only have profit as a motive. There is no difference between the Democrats or the Republicans and the Tea Party is the kkk...no KKK. To REALLY take back America we need to KILL the corporations....never happen!

    August 27, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Dave

    Doesn't Van Hollen watch CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC regarding their many stories supporting the Dems in their quest to hold onto the majority

    August 27, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Peter s

    Does restoring America means crying crocodile tears while aligning your pockets!!! "buy gold! buy it in any form! you can even buy it as an accessory like the cross of the lord in gold and a lords prayer inside" WELL JESUS OF NAZARETH DIED ON A WOODEN CROSS AND HE HAD THE POWER FROM THE FATHER TO WOOD IN TO WHATEVER FORM HE WANTED and before I forget HE said we should know the lords prayer with our hearts. Becks your hypocricy is coming to an end! because YAHWEH is going to expose you for what you are!! a 21st century con man

    August 27, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. BillE

    Beck & Palin. nothing more needs to said. Oh, wait, I just remembered something. Dumb & Dumber.

    August 27, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    I get confused by the hypocrixy of the liberals. We are called "racists," "bigot," and demean & criticized by them when we say that a mosque should not be built at gound zero. Don't disagree they moslems don't have the right to build one, just that it should not be built in that location. Then they blast someone, who has the right to free speech, has all the required permits, and is acting in a perfectly legal manner, like Glen Beck. HYPOCRISY THY PARTY IS LIBERAL.

    August 27, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. U.S. Common Sense

    Who cares? Seriously? If you are against it, don't go. The more you complain about it, the more attention it gets. I live less than an hour away from DC, and I didn't know anything about this event until two days ago. And how did I find out about it? Because someone complained about it. Now I'm interested about the program and look forward to reading what was said and how it was received by the attendees. That wouldn't have happened if folks like Van Hollen had acted like grown adults rather than little children, crying because they aren't getting the attention they wanted.

    August 27, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5