October 10th, 2010
10:40 AM ET
12 years ago

Van Hollen: It's OK to run against Obama

(CNN) - Rep. Chris Van Hollen –- the Democrat tasked with maintaining control of the House -– says it is a sign of his party’s strength that several Democrats are touting their opposition to President Obama ahead of the midterm elections.

“We're proud of the fact that we have an ideologically diverse caucus. We have a whole range of different political viewers. What they're talking about is their independence on certain issues,” Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of The Union.

“Issues where they stood with the speaker and the president, and the issues where they opposed the speaker and the president. That's their job,” Van Hollen, of Maryland, continued.

The comments came in response to a string of Democrats -– many from conservative-leaning districts –- who have repeatedly promoted their votes against some of Obama’s signature pieces of legislation, including health care and the stimulus bill.

Van Hollen also contrasted the diverse views in his party with those of the GOP:

“No room for pragmatists in the Republican Party. We have a big tent, and we're problem solvers. And that is, I think, what voters are looking for.”

Responding to Van Hollen, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay said, "Van Hollen knows full well that his party doesn’t have an ideologically diverse caucus, but rather a collection of candidates who are trying anything they can to save their political careers."

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that vulnerable Democrats are unsuccessfully attempting to distance themselves from their party’s job-killing agenda, every facet of which has been rejected by the American people," Lindsay said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2010 • Chris Van Hollen • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Ed

    Tell Bloomberg not to raise MTA's fares again!

    October 10, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. annie s

    A sign of strength? It's the obstructionist Blue Dog Democrats (you know, Republicans who put a "D" after their name) that caused all he problems for the Democrats by fighting so hard against comprehensive healthcare reform. I hope every single one of these turncoats gets replaced by a Republican who isn't ashamed to say what he is....at least that way, even without a majority, the Democrats can stand tall and proud for what they have accomplished!

    October 10, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. vic nashville tn

    After a long time republicans speaking the truth

    Senator Bob Corker accepting that republicans can’t repel Health care reform

    Pundits today saying that tea party losing its momentum and democrats closing the gap that mean tea party now hurting GOP

    Real republicans didn’t want to encourage tea party

    October 10, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. King

    These repugs pundits always bitching, name calling, emty rederic and lies but ive never here about any solutions other than keep cutting taxes for rich folks and youve seen the devastation that have cost over the past 10 years. Dems need to find a way to give money to the middle class and poor who are the demand half of the supply and demand economy and stop the repugs from taking the money from this group and put to the supply side of equation which are the rich and corporations. This will stop the cycle again like two years ago sending us in a deeper recession because the rich are not sending the money back down to the middle class in the form of jobs. They are out resourcing it to china.

    October 10, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. curious steve, boston, ma

    that fits their modus operandi: no principle, no shame, no soul, whatever it takes for a buck or two

    October 10, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. sickntired

    Dems are scrambling ... they will say anything to get re-elected. If they do, they will fall back in line with Obama/Reid/Pelosi.

    October 10, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Ernie

    This guy isn't fooling anybody, he wants to keep his seat and not be booted out of office. So he will say anything to stay in Washington. I wonder if he was asked if he voted for Obama's Health Care Bill and all of Obama Stimulus Plans, I didn't see that question mentiond in this article. Van Hollen is acting like he is his own free thinker. I bet this guy would sell he family to stay in Washington. I think this is a little late in game for him to come out and go aganist the "Party". I wonder if he plays basketball? I don't think Obama will be calling him to play a little one-on-one. If everyone believes this guy I have a bridge to no ware for sale.

    October 10, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. cherie

    I am a democrat, and I am willing to fight for our progressive/liberal ideals. But when i see things like this I get furious! Our party needs to stand behind our ideas, not listen to the republican banter. The people who support Obama and Pelosi are the same people that put Van Hollen in power. If I were in his state, I would never vote for him again after this cowardly, turncoat attitude.

    October 10, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. pensimmon

    What is their problem ??- they could say – The Democratic Party is absolutely pointing us in the right direction- healthcare reform, election reform, education reform etc etc, but I think :"this or that" needs more work etc etc. They had a golden opportunity to get things done with a majority in the Senate and House- and they blew it by trying to be alll things to all people. What a bunch of wishy washy jerks.

    October 10, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. nyclposter

    This administration chose to "make history" by giving us Obamacare instead of fixing the economy and the results are painfully evident. They have scared small business with the threat of expired tax cuts, new taxes, cap and trade and and maybe VAT? They have demonized the so called "rich" corporations and individuals and then they wonder why no jobs are being created. Funny how all the Democrats start sounding like the GOP guys when its election time. Face facts people, this administration is a train wreck of epic proportions.

    October 10, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Chris

    Hopefully it will tear the Dem party apart – we need to get rid of the trash in Congress

    October 10, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. watash60

    and all along we thought that it was FOX news, tea party folks, ex-military, and the GOP that were the bad guys..

    October 10, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. stufthis

    And if you want to continue to have American jobs shipped overseas, vote for the GObP bagger party who gets money from foreign countries who want to pay the republicans back for: their attack on those who make up the American the middle class and those who work for minimum wages.

    October 10, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. matches malone

    As Will Rogers said "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

    As disorganized as the Republican party is right now, they always know how to march in lock step behind an idea or a person, no matter how crazy or unqualified. The Dems never get it right. But hey, better a bunch of different ideas than a lot of black and white thinking.

    October 10, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. usualone

    What I like about the Democrats is that they are diverse and that produces a more thoughtful way of thinking. However it doesn't work for general elections. The problem is that with the current type of Republican ruling their party, they do stick together - whether right or wrong - and that alone will whip the Democrats. There are more Democrats than Republicans, but more Republicans vote. The Democrats have to realize that they have to stick together on some very vital points because if they don't ALL of them will be out of office. Democrats have to compromise for the good of their party and with the give and take they will survive. Someone has muzzled the thinking Republicans so that their reasonable approaches have been squashed. Therefore, most likely they will win because of their united front.

    October 10, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Ken

    Harry Truman said it best when he described a Democratic who acts like a Republican NOT being worthy of votes and not winning. Those who rail against their own leaders are ALWAYS seen as untrustworthy and turncoats.

    October 10, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Mark

    Republicans are problem solvers? Their economic policies sure solved the problem so middle class Americans have enjoyed very little wage growth over the last 30 years while CEO's salaries have gone from 50x an average salary to 350x. Solved it so pensions have gone away and now working class families need to put 10% of their gross salaries into 401k's. Solved it so Unions are so distrusted the middle class have to take their 1-2% yearly wage increase with a smile because there's ten guys waiting in line for their job. Their greatest achievement was convincing people to vote against their own self interest. Now that is real trick.

    October 10, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Steve Lyons

    They voted FOR his agenda so they can campaign AGAINST his agenda? Please democrats, just impeach the Kenyan TRAITOR now BEFORE the midterms. Show us you actually can lead by removing the most destructive person to ever sit in the White House. Prove you mean it. Call for impeachment, act on impeachment, and carry through for the good of the nation.

    October 10, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. stufthis

    Would businesses hire people if there was no health reform? In California, before health reform passed with 60 votes in the senate, insurance rates were scheduled to go up over 50%, but the Obama administration stopped that crap. That alone would give small businesses a reason to not hire more people.

    October 10, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. brat

    Maybe this is the beginning of the end of the undemocratic two party system that has plaqued this country for decades. It should be obviuos to anyone who cares that what has been, is simply just not working! This is the age of information and free thinking intelligent americans should be able to see through the BS and make proper informed choices. A revolution of sort, if you will. The American people have had enough of politics as usual and now is their chance to be heard. I am an American. Hear me VOTE!

    October 10, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. stufthis

    Democrats who voted against health reform do not deserve to be reelected.

    October 10, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Steve Lyons

    Compromise for the sake of the "party" is NOT what the founders envisioned. Compromise for the good of the nation is what is needed, and the democrats just can't place country before party.

    October 10, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. stufthis

    Vote democratic and that will get rid of the republican trash that gets paid with taxpayer money and gets healthcare paid for with tax[payer money for doing absolutely nothing to help the American people. Republicans in congress is nothing more than an entitlement program that has to stop.

    October 10, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Sagebrush Shorty

    “We're proud of the fact that we have an ideologically diverse caucus. We have a whole range of different political viewers. What they're talking about is their independence on certain issues,” Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of The Union.
    Wow! I've heard spin before, but nothing like this.

    October 10, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. Dina K.

    I haven't noticed anyone calling these Democrats racist for being opposed to some of the more liberal bills that Congress passed.

    October 10, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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