August 27th, 2010
01:16 PM ET
13 years ago

Democratic campaign chief blasts Glenn Beck rally

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Preparations continue in Washington for Saturday's rally to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial."]Washington (CNN) - The Democrats' point man for holding onto the party's majority in the House admitted Friday that the reach and intensity of conservative talk radio and television will be a "challenge" this fall but said voters will be smart enough to see through the "outrageous rhetoric on the right."

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took specific aim at Fox News personality Glenn Beck, who is headlining a "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington this weekend alongside Sarah Palin.

The rally, to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, is being billed as a "non-political event." Van Hollen called that claim nonsense.

"It's blatantly political," the Maryland Democrat said in an appearance at the National Press Club. "I mean, come on. You have seen Glenn Beck and a lot of the talk show hosts on Fox News out there talking about this election for the last 15 months since the day President Obama was elected president.

"You've had a constant tirade against the president, against Democratic efforts to get the economy turned around. Let's call it what it is. It's a blatant political effort."

Van Hollen's speech was an effort by top Democrats to dampen talk about a possible Republican takeover of the lower chamber and push back against House Minority Leader John Boehner, who delivered a major speech of his own this week to outline the GOP's agenda.

The DCCC chair rebutted talk that his party might lose control of the House, arguing that Republicans have nominated Tea Party candidates or "re-treads" from the Bush years who want to return to the "reckless fiscal policies of previous administration."

"I can assure you that despite the Washington summer political chatter, reports of the House Democrats demise are greatly exaggerated," he said.

Van Hollen acknowledged that much of the country's political energy is on the right, but argued that conservatives like Beck and Palin will damage the party in November by turning off independent voters.

"There is no doubt that there is a power to those voices, I would just ask the American people again to listen to where they are coming from," he said. "We just have to counter them by just trying to get the best information we can out there."

Van Hollen returned to his theory when asked about the Beck rally, saying that "Americans are going to be turned off by the outrageous rhetoric on the right."

"Conspiracy theories, rants, there is certainly an element of the electorate that is charged up by that," he said. "But again, I think it's a turn off to the sensible center and the people who constitute the key independent voters in these swing districts. They see that kind of stuff and they say, 'We don't want to go there.' The policies of the previous eight years of the Bush administration are bad enough," he continued. "These guys are way off on the right."

Filed under: 2010 • Chris Van Hollen • Fox News
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Cliff Sampson

    Mr Beck is the latest tool used to divide the country . All I've been seeing is fox news network with a bunch of haters on the air. Can someone please pull the plug on these clowns !

    August 27, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5