Cambridge, Maryland (CNN) - Trumpeting the American dream-theme "Make it in America," House Democrats gathered for their annual retreat Friday to focus on fulfilling the pledge that Democrats will make it back in 2012.
In a press conference following a meeting of the Democratic issues conference, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi outlined the goals for "Make it in America," which includes the "Drive for 25," designed to gain 25 Democratic seats in the 2012 elections and win back the majority.
Last fall's walloping by the GOP in the 2010 mid-term elections is still clearly on the minds of the members, although Pelosi used the retreat's theme to strike a balance between partisan politics and economic reality.
Recalling Thursday's ceremony recognizing the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's inauguration, Pelosi invoked the former president's charge to get "America moving again."
"We've come out of a decade with a deep, deep, deep recession that would have been a depression without the actions taken by President Obama and the Democratic Congress," she said.
Pelosi described "Make it in America" as an effort to achieve personal fulfillment for America, economic strength and national security.
Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Democrats plan to offer constructive proposals in the "Drive for 25" and "hold the GOP accountable when they do not support the interests of the middle class."
Paul Lindsay, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee quickly responded to the campaign.
"House Democrats will need more than a empty sales pitch to earn back the trust of middle-class families," he said. " … Behind this cheap marketing slogan are the three words Americans have no interest in seeing ever again - Speaker Nancy Pelosi."
Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen, outgoing chairman of the DCCC, had the strongest words for the Republicans. He expressed doubt that the GOP majority is earnest in "moving the country forward," and accused the opposing party of being reckless with the deficit.
"Unfortunately, the first few weeks have not presented a very good sign," he said. " … In their efforts to try and repeal the health care bill … they have, in a very short period of time, blown a big additional hole in the deficit. The CBO, the nonpartisan independent budget office … says over the next ten years they just in a very short order added an additional $230 billion dollars to the deficit."
"That is not fiscal responsibility … it is a recipe for budget anarchy and fiscal chaos," he continued.
Also, during the press conference, Pelosi struck a lighter note when asked who she planned to sit next to during the State of the Union address on Tuesday. In light of a recent call for both parties to abandon their tradition of sitting apart, she responded, "Members can sit anywhere they choose … I've been sitting next to Vice President (Dick) Cheney for a long time."
President Barack Obama was scheduled to speak privately to the retreat Friday evening. But Vice President Joe Biden gave public remarks Friday afternoon that were less of a rallying cry and more reassuring.
Opening with an admission that he'd been tasked with addressing the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, Biden asserted that he believes "we're on our way… to end this war responsibly."
"And it is going to be very hard with your new Republican colleagues, but I am gonna, I warn you, and you know it, I am going to be back to you to trying to figure out ... how we can finish this without the military because it is time for its role to be done," the vice president said.
Biden may have saved the pep talk for behind closed doors. He joined the retreat after his public remarks for a private talk. Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Emmanuel Cleaver declined to elaborate on what was said, saying it was "not for public consumption." But, he disclosed, Biden told the group, "I am not speaking as Joe Biden the VP, I'm speaking as Joe Biden."
Separately, speaking of shooting victim Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, the vice president said, "One of the things about this family is we live each other's losses … this is personal."
Please come back! You've got to save America from the evils of the GOP. They're taking away our healthcare, they're taking away Constitutional rights - they're turning this into a worse place than it was when Bush was in office, and that's an 8 year stretch we do NOT want to go back to. Please get your acts together and rebuild America in the way the American people want it. It's the only way to keep America strong. The GOP want to rip us apart from the inside out, and we can't let them try it again.
the Democrats produce results! the GOP just says "NO!" until they are in power, and then once in power they have no idea how to solve the issues they have been criticizing! how is half of the American population on to this!?!? they wanted Obama to turn the economy around overnight! Now why haven't they!? Instead, the economy is slowly turning back around because of everything the DEMOCRATS have done over the last two years while the GOP sat pouting with their arms crossed!
I love you Mama Pelosi! for all what you have done! what a wonderful human being!!
Palin would have an uphill battle from SpongeBobSquarePants throwing his hat in the ring.
If the Dems were smart, they would lock Nancy up a small room and duct tape her mouth shut.
calling it the "drive for 25" implies their only interest is getting the majority back. maybe if they called it the "drive for America" it would help them get that 25 back. it would be nice if our politicians, democrat or republican, occasionally looked liked they were out for our interests and not just getting or retaining power.
After 4 years of unmitigated disaster that was her reign as Speaker of the House, why would sane, taxpaying AMERICANS want to put this witch into anything but a circular file? To coin an old adage, are you better off than you were 4 years ago...didn't think so!
What democrats need to focus on first and formost is on the economy along with the republican party. They need new proposals of dealing with other pressing problems such as the chinese debocle and to get more modeerates in hard red areas or purplish areas. They need to boost up the democratic platform to relate to americans what they done on their behalf such as middle class tax cuts, ending the wars, consumer protections (e.g. health care and financial reforms), civil rights, and etc. Then, stepping forward need to quit using Bush from this point onward to straighten out the mess with our economy. People need poloiticians who ssomewhat at least act like they are on both sides of the isle.
And speaking of the untimely demise of America, here comes Nancy Palosi with her epic failing ways! The only way 98% of us are going to "Make it in America" is if she takes a pistol to her temple and pulls the trigger. Until then, we are all screwed.
Pelosi really thinks that by 2012 they will have learned to listen to us the people????? Does she mean putting our country almost in bankruptcy and no jobs???? And passing a Health Care Bill that is managed by the IRS, making the penalty into a tax owed to the IRS????? and almost getting rid of the Bush tax cuts????? Does she think that no jobs is moving the country forward??
San Francisco handing out bonuses that equal almost 1/3 of their whole debt. Proof the uber liberals are truly insane.
Gee! The Democrats have a modest retreat and the Repulsive had a fancy dinner and night out at the most expensive Hotel in DC. The H House! Does that tell you something about the party differences!
I don't think the Dems will have a problem coming back after the next two years of republicans showing they don't give a rodent's rump about the American people. in their first two weeks of control of the House, they voted to kill thousands of Americans every year by denying them health insurance. by 2012 only the most brain dead among us will still be supporting that totally morally bankrupt, backward party
You can have the old botox wynch, the same one that cost you the house in 2010.
The only way the Dems will take back the House in 2012 is if the GOP makes them a present of it.
Of course, with the neo-cons having abandoned what real Conservatism means, they may just do that.
Sorry Nancy. I am too disappointed to care anymore. No accountability for fake Iraq "intel;" and the re-writing of our justifications for invading Iraq. No true accountability for the disgusting abuse of banking and lack of ethics. No reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and no explanation to America. I'm entitled to an escrow refund. While Chase says they "printed a check" two weeks ago, they say they have until (some date way out in the future) to actually mail it. Meaning, they are using MY money to make money for themselves until I get a check. That is BS! Thank goodness C Dodd retired.
Keep the PR smoke and mirrors going though. As long as Citizens United goes unaddressed, you'll NEVER get another dime from me. As long as corporatios and the wealthiest few pull our "representatives" strings, our "democracy" is a joke.
Billy Jeff will be mad at you Nancy. After all, he signed all these treati\es to send our jobs overseas.
All those botox injections have eaten what little brain cells this idiot used to have. She is a walking joke.
Now she wants the Demsto rally. After spending years telling them to get in line or else she is beggin them to come back. Priceless.
i think its sad thatwe have come to this. basically elections are like baseball games and the two sides are the redsox and yankees, meanwhile nobody gets anything possitive done. life can't say i will be surprised at what tomoorow brings
That would be like a really bad nightmare if Pelosi became Speaker again!!!!
More Democrat rhetoric. They haven't represented the middle class in decades and Obamacare proves it!
I think that the Dummycrats got it backwards, the Republicans are holding them accountable to the middleclass! They sure took a b_tt whooping from the middleclass in the mid-terms!!!! .....OUUUUUCH!
Who wants to see Pelosi in office? NO ONE! she single handedly almost ruined this Nation. Her and her cronies of Reid and others I need not mention. But, the people are fickle, they would rather pick a bad democrat, than a good Republican, or for that matter a good Liberal. Would rather have quality than quantity. But most people head on with their party than pick those who qualify.
As someone who bleeds Democratic Blue when cut, I really wish the House members would get rid of this idiot from our leadership! As long as she is around, she will be the target for any Democrat trying to hold on to a seat in a swing district! No matter how close those Democratic Representatives are to the personal ethic of their districts, the Republicans will paint them with the same brush as Congresswoman Pelosi. Nancy, please resign! You have a safe Democratic seat. Do the rest of the country a favor and go into gentle retirement as all your predecessors have done after they lost the Speakership.