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. Blink

    And here I thought the Democratic Party was the party of Unity...everyone was gonna hug each other and sing Kumbayah. If they can't even unite themselves behind their own PRESIDENT and SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, WOW!!! I think I'll vote Republican.

    October 10, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Will

    Bigots. I've always said, and I'll say it again - rural voters have a disproportionate amount of power in this country.

    October 10, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. pw

    This President took office at a time when the economy was tanking, people were without healthcare coverage, the previous administration had looted the coffers in the interest of the special interest groups and we were in the midst of 2 wars that were costing us billions of dollars a day. He was worked hard to make positive changes in this country and succeeded where others have failed. We better get behind him or we will be back in worse shape that we were before. Keep letting these tea partiers influence what happens in the country and we'll be dumber than ever before.

    October 10, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. the real ib

    They should run against Obama; he is doing more to destroy this country than any president we have had and that includes Bush. His agenda needs to be stopped and stopped now. Out of controll spending has to stop and all you liberals that want to keep raising taxes on the rich; how many jobs have been created by poor people. Rich people are afraid to spend their money and companies are afraid to expand due to King Obama's agenda. It has to be stopped and can be if people will wake up and vote against it this election .

    October 10, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Bill4

    This Democrats are just more spineless jellyfish looking for a a bush to hide under that's not burning. Hose them all down come November.

    October 10, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Doreen

    When I first read the lead on this article, I thought "Damn Democrats just can't keep their act together. Why can't they be like the Republicans and spit out the exact same words over and over again - so disciplined" Once I read the article, I feel differently. Goodness knows that the President and leadership have had their trouble with the independent so-called progressive Democrat. So, if they were against the President and leadership they should be sayng it. It's the truth. As opposed to the Republicans who have no independent thoughts and just walk in unison like a bunch of robots. I have gotten very irritated over time with these Democrats who don't toe the line, however, that is what freedom is all about.

    October 10, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. supernova

    There are conservative and liberal Democrats and the Democratic Party is a big tent, as Paul Lindsey well knows. It is because of this fact that many of the job-producing aspects of Obama's stimulus package were cut out by conservatives on both sides of the isle. It is not the liberals who killed the jobs, it is the conservative Democrats and Republicans who slashed the slashed the stimulus. These programs would have created many jobs which would have benefitted everyone but, no, the Republicans and conservative Democrats decided to vote en masse to oppose everything Obama tried to do as a weapon to try to get back into power.

    October 10, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. all of America

    The corrupt democrats will lie and spread propaganda instead of admitting that they have already lost.If they disagree with pelosi and the obama agenda so much, then why did they vote for the bills that they passed ? These guy's cannot be trusted ,they will say anything to get reelected ,but most of them are finished come november.

    October 10, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Frank

    As an independent that would vote republican in a nano second if they ever made sense, the congressman compared the unemployment now only comparible to the 1930's. Being a republican and from CA, does he not realize 10.8 unemployment existed in the second term of President Reagan? Does Congressman Boehner not realize that he, as a proponent of smaller government, that a reduction of twenty-four thousand jobs in the public sector is what he is preaching? If you want my vote, you must do better than the democrats, and quite frankly, the republicans along with the Tea Party "ain't got it."

    October 10, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Wzrd1

    After 31 years of being a republican, I've changed to democrat.
    While the republicans did their level best to block healthcare reform, to leave us as a nation with the worst healthcare availability in the industrialized world rather than advancing with what was proven in all industrialized nations, the democrats sought to move forward and include ALL American citizens.
    While the middle class shrunk and suffered, the republicans gave more sweetheart tax deals for the wealthy.
    So, I'll try a change.
    BUT, I'll say it once. I don't respect those who behave with the morals of a prostitute, this frankly smacks of such behavior.
    Of course, the main difference between a politician and a prostitute is that the prostitute is honest about who and what she does for a living.

    October 10, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Chad

    This is nothing short of sacrificing Obama in order to retain their seats in congress. What a despicable act. What is lamentable is the overall political climate in this country and neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are without blame. How on earth can commentators on here claim that only the Democrats are to blame. Is there a memory deficiency amongst modern voters?

    Somehow Obama, who has only be in office for about half a term, is completely to blame for the entirety of our troubles. What a disgusting state of affairs for this country.

    October 10, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. Tony FL

    to Will – ...and a dispropotionate amount of government subsidies to boot. let's end these tractor subsidies, then we'll talk about "limited government"!

    October 10, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. LiberalMajority

    These people are a disgrace to the democratic party. President Obama is the best thing that has happened to thins country in years, and anyone that fails to see that is merely part of the problem.

    October 10, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. LiberalMajority

    Why is it that rural voters in America hold so much voting power? They're mostly a bunch of old-fashioned, uneducated, simpletons who can barely even read or write.

    October 10, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Bob

    Perhaps the Democrats should try putting forth bills that matter and get them passed! How about E-Verify (stop illegal aliens from working), border security, tax on those that out source (our jobs) , tax china (been back manufacturing jobs, Let companies go bankrupt (others have and will buy them up anyway), control big oil from overcharging (one station sells gas for 2.80 while one across street sells for 2.65...DUH and this is common, Pass some of the laws already in congress that people want like controlling the volume of ads on tv (congress can not fine time for bills like this..duh). In short it is not Obama (at least he started health care) it is CONGRESS period. P.S. the Republicans have been and would be no better so what is the solution YEA vote them all out and show those that follow we the people mean business either do your job so don't plan on getting elected again. Otherwise everyone should fine something other to do than comment here about how bad it is....

    October 10, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. ur_shadow

    It's no wonder – this President is rapidly taking this country down the path of socialism and expanding the powers of government much further than anything Bush ever did. It's time to clean up both the House and the Senate in November.

    October 10, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. john

    Vote conservative, defeat the looters and the moochers...ITS AS SIMPLE AS THAT...unless you are a lame brain liberal, or agree that govt should decide who gets what and how much or think the bonehead buracrats should decide who is rich and who isnt, and then punish those who work hard by rewarding those that dont...yea...the DEMOCRATIC party at its finest...AMERICAN principles at their worst.

    October 10, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. America Shrugged

    @ Steve Lyons

    Are you kidding me? Good lord, this is why the GOP is losing credibility. Impeach The President for what, being the First African American President with a name you probably can't pronounce, who inherited the worst economy since the depression? Do you even know what the criteria for impeachment is? Go get yourself a copy of the constitution and learn something. BTW, when was the last time in 45 yrs a Democratic President inherited a great economy from a Republican President? As for your nonsense about him being Kenyan born, you'll just have to wait with the rest of the silly birthers to see his BC in his Presidential Library.

    October 10, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. john

    Liberal majority...ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! MOve to europe!!! you would love it!!! OBAMA is the worst thing to happen to this country...EVER!!! Let me guess...you suppor the looters who take from those who achieve and give it to those who dont because you are a MOOCHER....love unions, love abortion, hates hard working business owners, cant make decisions for yourself and loves the concept of a BIG GOVT NANNY STATE to take care of poor poor you...PATHETIC!!

    October 10, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Steven P

    Liars, the lot of 'em. If their lips are moving, they're lying. Both parties.

    October 10, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. H

    The republicans have them too

    Democrats in name only and republicans in name only

    And yes john, the majority of the country leans liberal on most issues. get over it.

    I'm not poor, I don't need handouts, so your argument is invalid. And abortion is ok it is not murder, and what is wrong with unions? are you upset you can't rip off workers anymore?

    October 10, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. TheTraveler

    Everyone looking out only for themselves. No ones sees America as a "United States of America" anymore.

    I can hear the Founding Fathers turning in the their graves ...

    October 10, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. matt

    Righteous words from the unrighteous? What else you got for me? When will people learn? Have they not promised us the world from the founding of democracy in ancient times? Politicians are like the weather. Totally undependable and uncontrollable.

    October 10, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. timothy

    Political Parties throwing one another under the bus and eating their own young. How predicable.

    October 10, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. King

    I remembered going to the doctor office two years ago for a few hours ireceived a check in the mail for 23 thousand dollars. Couple of month back my sister went to the doctor for the same procedure and pay only a couple thousand for the same procedure. So all you lying fare mungering hyprocrits stop lying about the new healthcare system. Maybe you want to go back to the days they use to take dead people from out side the hospitals. Obama will be remembered as one of the greatest president ever, with the plate he was given. And you biggots are sick to death of that.

    October 10, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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