Hoyer predicts Democrats will retake the House, downplays recent retirements
November 29th, 2011
02:40 PM ET
2 years ago

Hoyer predicts Democrats will retake the House, downplays recent retirements

Washington (CNN) - Despite a couple of high profile retirements by Democrats in recent days, the number two House Democratic Leader predicted Tuesday Democrats will retake control of the House of Representatives next fall.

"I fully expect us to take back the House," Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said at his weekly meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill.

Hoyer downplayed the decisions by two senior Democrats - Massachusetts Rep Barney Frank and Hispanic Caucus Chairman Charlie Gonzales, D-Texas – not to run for re-election in 2012. He pointed out there are fewer retirements now than there were at the same time after the 1994 election, when Democrats lost control of the House to the GOP after 40 years in the majority.

Hoyer said he didn't expect "a large number of future retirements" this election cycle.

For his own part, the 72 year old Maryland Democrat, who like Frank is serving his 16th term in the House, filed for re-election on Monday and has no intention of leaving Congress anytime soon. "When I don't like this job I'll get out. I still like the job."

Paul Lindsay, spokesman for the House Republican's campaign arm, dismissed Hoyer's prediction, telling CNN, "It must be painful for Steny Hoyer to keep a straight face while he cheerleads for Nancy Pelosi's hopeless campaign to become Speaker again."

Referring to the Democratic Whip's long service, Lindsay added, "apparently the decades Hoyer has spent in Washington have blinded him from the reality that House Democrats are choosing to abandon ship rather than face another round of punishment from voters in 2012."

But Hoyer explained that the reason the House is in play is because the American people are "looking for answers, not confrontation" and he argued GOP rule since 2010 has only yielded confrontation. He said this sentiment is reflected in opinion polls showing Congress rating only in single digits and noted that Democrats are ahead in the "generic" poll question that asks Americans which party they favor.

The Democratic Whip sidestepped a question about his former colleague, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is currently ahead in some polls of the 2012 GOP presidential field, saying simply, "Republicans have a candidate of the week" and joked that almost weekly GOP debates are "helping us greatly." But Hoyer also confidently predicted "whoever the candidate is Barack Obama is going to be re-elected."


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Independent Voters

    Please fire all the republican in the congress and send them to the unemplyement office.

    November 29, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Dave

    Well, if you're going to dream, dream big!!! Your party and the GOP has done little to help this country. The two party system is a scam!

    November 29, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    If you are a registered Democrat who has never heard of this guy before, then that should tell the DNC something. His Republican conterpart would be Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA.

    November 29, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Jagnut

    Ya right and Odumwa will be re-annointed too! Talk about being out of touch and out to lunch Hoyer!

    November 29, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Jeff from Va

    Of course he would say that, "BIG NEWS", let just wait and see.

    November 29, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Joee Deere

    I have no idea how the repubs can advocate for the rich and be voted in. The republicains made it a virtue to take for the middle class and the poor and give it to the rich. No amount of ads should make me vote for the repubs this time around.

    November 29, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Goptfascists Nationalists Party - radical "regressive" bigoted intolerant fanaticism screwing the USA

    Damn, Steny – don't disturb the disturbed in their dream world of neo-con-mania. Of course the Dems will win big and the rulers of their party know it – that’s why only the worst of the worst Repubs are running. For the past three years the Repubs have devoted everything to the failure of our President and at all costs. In the up-coming Presidential campaign all Americans will know just how anti-American the GOP has become.

    November 29, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Jake

    Scott Walker tried to kill unions and teachers, Scott Brown pampers Wall Street, and the Tea Party and Koch brothers helped elect a bunch of educationally challenged puppets into office...the Democrats WILL indeed re-take the House! (and it doesn't help the GOP cause when anytime footage of any Republican debate is seen around the world there is an internal laugh track that goes along with it!)

    November 29, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. logic in LA

    The Dems will retake the House only if people wake up to where the real problems have been for the past 3 years.

    November 29, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. david

    well it might happen. it all depends on the voters who understand that ronald raegans supply side economics has turned out to be nothing but a big failure. it depends on the voters fuguring out that the big tax cuts for the rich 10 years ago didn't work. it depends on the voters coming to grips with the fact that giving money to the s called 'JOB CREATOR" is really giving money to the "JOB EXPORTERS". i am a 61 year old life long democrat who really is thinking of voting for all republicans this time around not because i like them but more for my grand childerns future. the oldest is 7 now and i fugure that the republicans are very close to putting this country to its knees leaving just enough time for the democrats to take over and rebuild this country for their future working life!

    November 29, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. tate

    Well the rest of the country is tired of paying for the ignorant baby making crack smoking democrat base. Look at OWS that is the democrat base, how sadddd.

    November 29, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Steve-Illinois

    And Pelosi was confident they wouldn't lose the House in 2010!

    November 29, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. MTATL67

    The Congressional Republican first political mistake was allowing the junior members of Congress that belong to the extremist group called the Tea party free reign instead of keeping them under control. Their 2nd mistake was to fanatically follow Sen. McConnell's "No to Everything" policy to the point that it became obstructionism. Congressional Republican can not show any significant achievement to justify their holding onto control of the House (only if they would have compromised). I believe that they will not only lose control of the House but will lose a couple of seats in the Senate. Starting with Massachusetts..well I'll be surprised if Brown holds that seat.

    November 29, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. david

    really! your comment is awaiting moderation!

    November 29, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAhadists

    You can bet your bottom dollar democrats are taking back control of the entire Congress. The 112th Congress is the worst Congress EVER!!!!

    November 29, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    I predict they will be lucky if they keep any seats, other than where only Democrats live.

    November 29, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Pete

    @Jagnut – Republicans have been campaigning for almost a year without a peep from our sitting president and they can only get a few points on him. Once he starts campaigning again, expect a landslide. Conservatives have completely alienated independent voters and a good bit of their own party with all of this libertarian nonsense. I'm not saying the Dems are great, but they're certainly better than anyone you guys are putting forth. Gingrich? Are you freaking kidding me? The only one who could have a shot in a million is the flip flopping Mormon, and you guys are falling all over yourselves digging his grave.

    November 29, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. WiredweirdinSF

    Lets hope for the sake of the country he is wrong. It would be a sad day for people who actually work and pay taxes if the democrate liberals retake the house, retain the Senate and retain the most incompetent, inept, corrupt union toady president this country has ever had. Look how they ruined the country in the two years they had the majority. SEIU running the country, what a frightening prospect.

    November 29, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. jon

    Republicants have a deathwish. They are becoming extinct.

    November 29, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Ray E. (Georgia)

    And the Democrats are going to Balance the Budget also. Un Employment will go to Zero and the Federal Debt will be paid off. Barney Frank will recend his retirement plans and be re-elected> I can't wait.

    November 29, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    No, Rudy... Pelosi's counterpart is Cantor (each party's respective 'leader). Hoyer held that position when she was speaker, but he was kind of demoted when Pelosi took that job.

    November 29, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    Steny, Steny, Steny... you said that you weren't going to lose the house in 2010 too... but look what happened.

    November 29, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. Portland tony

    When Pigs fly.........!

    November 29, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    This year Black Friday boost the economy reason payroll tax cut

    Republicans doesn’t want to extend payroll tax holiday. Past 11 moths republicans didn’t do any thing to boost the economy voters ready to bring back democrats

    November 29, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Jagnut wrote:

    Ya right and Odumwa will be re-annointed too! Talk about being out of touch and out to lunch Hoyer!
    ---------
    You have not been paying attention lately, have you? Too much conservative talk radio or Fox News? In case you have not noticed, the Republicans have pretty much gotten shellacked coast to coast in 2011 elections. Do you know why? It is because of GOP lies, denials, and obfuscations of the facts.

    Most Americans saw through them when they overreached in 2011 and began attacking unions, women, education and anything else that could destroy jobs and hurt the economy. Do you know what the most common right wing response has been to the political trending in 2011? Denial. They think that their messaging is off key, and that they just simply moved too soon; totally missing the point that the move itself is the problem not the timing of it.

    November 29, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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