April 1st, 2009
04:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Van Hollen warns liberals of 'circular firing squad'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Wednesday he had cautioned some liberal leaders to ease some of their toughest attacks on moderate Democrats.

"What I've been warning people very clearly is: beware of forming a circular firing squad," Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen told reporters at a Wednesday afternoon briefing. "We believe people should be focusing their efforts on expanding the Democratic majority - and that should be their singular focus."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made similar comments last week, criticizing ads pressuring some Democratic legislators to support President Obama's budget plan.

Van Hollen also predicted that venture capitalist Scott Murphy capture the majority of outstanding military and absentee votes in New York's 20th congressional district race.

The Maryland congressman was reacting to reports that a new party analysis was predicting a Murphy advantage of 210 votes after those votes had been tallied.

That projection assumes that Murphy will draw greater support from absentee and military voters whose ballots have yet to be counted than he did from all other voters on Election Day. Van Hollen said that analysis was ongoing, but that the party remained "bullish" on Murphy's chances.

CNN projects that Murphy currently holds a 25 vote lead among voters whose ballots have already been tallied, 77,217 to 77,192 for Tedisco. A new legal battle is underway in the district, and both parties have asked supporters to send money to fund the fight.

Filed under: DCCC
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Naomi

    If we become one country unbreakable, we will all do well!

    April 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Spencer, Virginia

    Well Ms. Hollen, Tim Kaine went against funding embryonic stem cell research and no one has jumped on his back yet. Be cool. We know there are moderate democrats who aren't fully supportive of the President's agenda, but we must find common ground to keep our majority.

    April 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Cor

    You might want to do a spell check on the headline of this story.

    April 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    A 'circular firing dquad?' Do you mean "squad?" Doesn't CNN proof-read this stuff?

    April 1, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    Liberals making a circular firing squad. Oh to be so lucky.

    April 1, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Kelby In Houston, TX

    I understand your concern, however, I do not share it. These ads that we are seeing tageted at certain legislatures certainly does not constitute a circular firing squad. I still believe that we Democrats can work together conservative, moderate and liberal, and find common ground that will benefit the people.
    Oh and if you want to expand your majority, come to TEXAS! and other "red" states. We can do it...YES WE CAN! From the local to state level we can get these "red" states, but it will take time and a whole lot of effort

    April 1, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Brian Crooks

    That's the difference between Liberals and Conservatives. The Democrats are trying to temper their liberal flank, reminding them to try to stay moderate and not to get carried away, while the Republicans are foaming at the mouth, trying to reach some Nirvana-esque level of Conservative purity. Spencer got it right. I was disappointed that Kaine went against funding embryonic stem cell research, but I didn't want to kick him out of the party or call him a DINO or shout "CONSERVATIVE!" from the nearest hilltop. Mr. Van Hollen is right that we need to be mindful that our attacks on each other only distract us from the primary focus, but I think we have comparatively little to worry about...for once!

    April 1, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Charlie in Maine

    If we were the GOP we would have to "offer up some red meat" to the radicals in our base. Racical Dems can be resonabel more often than radical GOPers. Reason: GOP is faking being scared of Obama. Dems are right to be scared by the four horse people in the next article.

    April 1, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. gt

    blue dogs have turn to lap dogs now ,,, no back bone ,, very ,very ,sad to see these cow down

    April 1, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. No More Incumbents

    No, No! They finally got it right!

    April 1, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Cary, NC


    North Korea is "one country unbreakable," but I don't think it's doing very well. Making the country a worthwhile place to live in requires a lot more than homogeneity. I've no desire to live in an "unbreakable" Patriot-Act police state that punishes independence, nor do I have any desire to live in an "unbreakable" Nanny State that punishes productive people in order to coddle the lazy.

    Unfortunately, more and more, those seem to be the only choices available to American citizens.

    April 1, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. The Last Patriot

    Not sure about firing squads but you do see a lot of liberal circle-jerking activity, especially when the anointed one is mentioned. Just as Chris Matthews for more detail.

    April 1, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. James

    Too late your whole party has become a bunch of neo-libs.
    The dems were not elected because they are moderates. They are opportunists that took advantage of the war in Iraq and the economic issues to bash the sitting President around the World and caused folks to lose confidence in our Government. They are also ridding the coat-tails of the liberial media sensation that is Obama.

    April 1, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Allan

    I have a better idea: support the agenda that we elected Obama to enact or go join the Republican Party.

    April 1, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. James

    Moderate dems.....really???? What is the punchline??

    April 1, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. Illinois Tom

    The best way to expand the Democrat base is to buy the votes with subsidies like FDR did. Oh wait, they are already doing that.

    April 1, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Rob

    No, no, no! Keep firing. The more the libs take each other out, the better our country will be!

    April 1, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. R. C. Smeby

    How come this is still open when the MIAC fiasco was closed after three entries???
    A little censorship going on here???

    April 1, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Kevin B

    Liberals do not have to worry about any circular firing squads, the repubs have that whole concept hard wired into the next 16 years.

    Note thier "alternative budget" the republicans rolled out today, what a joke.

    April 1, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Shhhhhhhh........ Don't tell'em

    April 1, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Casey

    I do wish that all Democrats would perceive this golden opportunity to allow the Republican party to go the way of the Whigs... I mean, they are standing on the edge of a huge cliff like a bunch of lemmings just waiting to be spooked into running.

    I say Democrats should all stand on one side and start the stampede.

    April 1, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. The Broker.

    Circular? Five rounds, in a Magazine?

    April 1, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. Liberal Logic

    Everybody needs to understand, as holy Democrats we are absolutely accepting of all differing opinions within our party of perfection. The same can't be said for vile Republicans that are ALL uncompromising idiots that everyone hates (including themselves). Bush is Satan, Obama is God, even though I had no idea who he was until he began his bid for President. Liberals are ALL intelligent and educated despite always hearing about the American school system being in shambles, whereas conservatives are knuckle draggers and 2nd grade dropouts. Michelle Obama is the hottest woman alive despite having Popeye's underbite/one eye closed combo. You can't judge Obama's presidency yet because it's only been around 70 days...unless you are going to say everything he does is perfect and he is a gift from God... err I mean he is God himself. Also Democrats are focused on moving forward, that's why we talk about Bush and Cheney so much. Republicans should not be allowed to disagree with anything Democrats want to do because they are all stupid, rich and white (Any one of these 3 things is enough to deem them evil unless they belong to a union).

    April 1, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |