October 10th, 2010
10:40 AM ET
4 years ago

Van Hollen: It's OK to run against Obama

(CNN) - Rep. Chris Van Hollen –- the Democrat tasked with maintaining control of the House -– says it is a sign of his party’s strength that several Democrats are touting their opposition to President Obama ahead of the midterm elections.

“We're proud of the fact that we have an ideologically diverse caucus. We have a whole range of different political viewers. What they're talking about is their independence on certain issues,” Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of The Union.

“Issues where they stood with the speaker and the president, and the issues where they opposed the speaker and the president. That's their job,” Van Hollen, of Maryland, continued.

The comments came in response to a string of Democrats -– many from conservative-leaning districts –- who have repeatedly promoted their votes against some of Obama’s signature pieces of legislation, including health care and the stimulus bill.

Van Hollen also contrasted the diverse views in his party with those of the GOP:

“No room for pragmatists in the Republican Party. We have a big tent, and we're problem solvers. And that is, I think, what voters are looking for.”

Responding to Van Hollen, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay said, "Van Hollen knows full well that his party doesn’t have an ideologically diverse caucus, but rather a collection of candidates who are trying anything they can to save their political careers."

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that vulnerable Democrats are unsuccessfully attempting to distance themselves from their party’s job-killing agenda, every facet of which has been rejected by the American people," Lindsay said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2010 • Chris Van Hollen • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    “Issues where they stood with the speaker and the president, and the issues where they opposed the speaker and the president. That's their job,” Van Hollen, of Maryland, continued"

    This is the reason why we will remember those who want to SEPARATE themselves from the base JUST TO GET ELECTED!!!!! If the statement above is TRUE -then maybe there is a REAL NEED for a Third Party!!!!!! How far will both RepubliCAN'Ts and Democrats get if there was a THIRD PARTY?? Put all ‘wishy-washy’ folks in the Third Party!!!

    Come on now – this is a COP-OUT and that's why the 'enthusiasm' on the left is DOWN!!!!!!! This is the reason why the RepubliCAN'Ts are using Democrat's 'desertion' against them!!! This is the reason why the RepubliCAN'Ts are using the Democrat's accomplishments in their own campaign in the form of REPEAL and REPLACE – the RepubliCAN’Ts believe in 90% of almost all accomplishments under President Obama and they will PICK and CHOOSE mostly 90% of it while the DEMOCRATS run to their CORNERS and then come out AFRAID – they did this when they decided to side with the RIGHT on the war in Iraq!!!!!!!

    I am sure these 'caught in the middle of winning an election versus the root of their beliefs' Democrats campaigning must also believe in 90% of the accomplishments thus far but are AFRAID to SAY IT. I call these Democrats TRAITORS and if they LOSE, it will be their FAULT!!!

    DEMOCRAT Politicians need to STATE the CASE and believe in it – UNITE the BASE and be proud of it – PERIOD!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!!

    October 10, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. knucklehead

    The real problem is this: you have one party of self-interested, lying, cheating scoundrels who will do anything to secure their position(s), who consistently show themselves to be incapable of ruling without screwing everything up, running against another party of self-interested, lying, cheating scoundrels who will do anything to secure their position(s), who consistently show themselves to be incapable of ruling without screwing everything up. They are both good at pointing fingers but when they get power they can't seem to handle it.

    October 10, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. District8Voter

    I live in Congressman Van Hollen's (very blue) district. I sent him an e-mail to let him know how disappointed I am in his weakness of listening to these screaming, impatient babies who are upset that President Obama has not righted 8 years of wrongs in 21 months. I encourage all voters in this district to do the same.
    Congressman Van Hollen needs to stop listening to this nonsense and start listening to the people who voted him into office.

    October 10, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    As a Libertarian i think the political/social group that causes the most problems in America is the Liberals even though iConservative have their fair share. Well right now im getting packed cause the Libs are bring us down. Due to thier being way too open minded thier brains have fallen out. Peace.

    October 10, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Onesimpleman

    Democrats are such morons....they had such a great chance to get established in the White House and Capitol for decades and they threw everything away for their own selfish whims...well, what can we expect from all these crooks..including Repukebliklans....Good thing I have my own mind and became independent... We are no longer in a Republic nor democracy...This is now a Plutocracy...Good luck to everyone...We will need it....

    October 10, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. saywhhhhhat

    If your running ads against obama your in the wrong party, he is the leader of the democratic party. if you dont like that you shouldnt be a dem

    October 10, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Don Eisenhardt

    Most all you Dems voted for every piece of legislation Obama Called for. Now you want to cut and run because you Dems can't take the heat. I'm a Democrat and now there are some Dems I won't vote for. I hate to say I may put some republicans in office but so be it. You Dems that don't support your own party are in for trouble. Just go home!!!

    October 10, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. james

    Hilarious. Democrats go over the edge when Sharron Angle criticizes the Republican Party, but they're doing it to their own party and it's just fine! Yet another sign that Democrats are so desperate they'll stoop to any low they need to reach.

    October 10, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. keith

    these folks got elected because of Obama's political vision of a 21st century US rather than a Republican regression to support of the rich at the expense of the poorer folks. These red Democrats are following the political winds and instead should be leading Americans away from the right-wing ugliness that presently pervades the US.

    October 10, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. jcvet

    Clinton turned into a turncoat in 1994 and the economy took off.

    October 10, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. patsyd

    'diverse' caucus aka 'fractured' caucus. Attempting to make lemonade out of Dem Lemons! It's OK to go against the iron fist of King Barry? Any religious lib-left Dems that cling to religion should be saying a "Hail Mary". The writing is on the wall... the time draws near. The end of the regime whose mantra is "We Love Big, Benevolent Brother and You Should Too".

    October 10, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Dynahog

    Whether these Democrats are reelected or not, whether they are majority or not, just how witll they Vote after November 3rd or when all votes are counted and official? Then what will they do "if they return to Congress" in January 2011?

    Will they vote for PERMANENT GEORGE BUSH TAX CUTS with no exceptions for hign income earners?
    Will they vote for Repeal of Obamacare?
    Will they vote for a Condensed and Republican Version on Health Care that makes necessary improvements "for The People", but won't cost them "MORE" and won't turn a working system inside out and upside down?
    Will they work in bi-partisan fashion with Republicans in the House and Senate should Republicans control both houses?
    Will they stop marching like Penquins behind President Obama setting his Agendas for Congress, when after all the houses of Congress are independent and set their own rules and agendas?

    October 10, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Jeff

    GOP says “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that vulnerable Democrats are unsuccessfully attempting to distance themselves from their party’s job-killing agenda, every facet of which has been rejected by the American people,"

    I say "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how little the GOP has to offer the American people, especially when all they have to talk about is how vulnerable the Dems are. Great ideas guys! Where's my ballot?

    October 10, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. roba0001

    It is totally understandable that many Democrats are running against their leaders and, by definition, the Democratic policies put in place over the last 4 years since their Party took over the House and the Senate, but particularly since an eloquent speaking Senator gave hope for change that would bring improvement to our Country. As it turns out, the President is exactly that, an eloquent speaker and nothing else if one looks at the state of the Country after all of the money spent secondary to his policies. An example is the $110 million of Stimulus that Los Angeles stated created or saved 55 jobs. Perhaps the Party of No deserves a chance. NO more massive deficits, NO more massive Government overspending, and NO more massive Bills passed against the will of the majority of the American people. And yes, please use the blame Bush answer for the Country's woes. The last point Republicans were in power, unemployment was 4.5% and the Dow was 14,000. There is a lot of blame to go around. When one cannot run on the policies of their own Party because they have been failures, go negative and blame others.

    October 10, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Dan

    LOL..Whatever, van Hollen, whatever. Nice spin job, though. Good luck next month.

    October 10, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. JJ

    I think it is time for liberal America to make allies with places like Latin America, Europe, Germany, Canada, Middle East, Africa, and Russia, and network to build alliances against capitalists here that are against suffering American families.

    October 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. JJ

    America Stinks of capitalistic selfish immoral GOP filth.

    October 10, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. NoTax

    It is another reason to becom the member of the glorius Tea Party

    October 10, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Terry P

    Problem Solvers? Had control of both houses for 5 years and still can't get stuff done. REAL Unemployment at 18%. Yep, real probem solvers... and I voted to them. Never again.

    October 10, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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