(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.
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