"We saw a convergence of events that created a perfect storm against the Democrats," Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "What this was all about, and understandably so, was a referendum on 9.5 percent unemployment… We had not made enough progress."
But he said it would be a "big mistake" for Republicans to assume they now have a mandate to do more than address the economy.
"In some ways the good news is our Republican colleagues now have to share some of the responsibility for getting us out of the mess," Van Hollen told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
He also came out in strong support of Pelosi, who announced this week she is running for House minority leader in the next Congress.
"Nancy Pelosi's been fighting for middle-class Americans for the last 24 months… on Tuesday this was a lot bigger than Nancy Pelosi," Van Hollen said.
He declined to say who he would support for the House position of minority whip, but said both candidates - James Clyburn of South Carolina and Steny Hoyer of Maryland - would "stay in Democratic leadership."
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
Four and the Door. It's way more complicated than you and I are making it sound. Would those industrial companies expand if you expand? You may not be able to answer that right now. Could you successfully expand if the banks were lending? That's probably easier to answer. I have neighbors who are concerned their taxes will go up. They own their own company and all their contracts are with the government (which they of course bash without seeing the irony). I asked if they would really have to pay more in taxes or would an increase not effect them because of the write offs they would receive by re-investing in their employees and equipment. Like I said, it's more complicated than either of us make it sound. Is there are market for any type of corporate expansion right now. We're hoarding our money and not consuming. This is way more complicated than a few posts on the political ticker. But those tax cuts given by Bush did nothing to create more jobs, bottom line. More jobs were created in the last 10 months than were during Bush's 8 years. Those are facts none of us can argue about. The middle class is being erased. The money in this country has shifted up. During this recession the top wealthiest are increasing their wealth in huge percentages. What's going on here?