Hoyer predicts Democrats will retake the House, downplays recent retirements
November 29th, 2011
02:40 PM ET
9 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. International_Bro

    As a self proclaimed left leaning independent I must agree with the majority of Americans. Congress has become a joke! I fault both parties for the gridlock. There's only so much a President can do in the legislative process. If we want change we must simply use common sense. When it all boils down, thirst for power is what's holding us back as a nation. If we want to get out of this mess we should limit congressional terms, limit congressional benefits, STOP the Bush era tax breaks, slightly cut domestic spending and put more money back into the middle class and low income families. You can't have demand if ppl aren't spending money. Its soo not that hard to comprehend

    November 29, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    Jagnut, not exactly sure who this "Odumwa" person is, but s/he must be a rethugliban as they're notorious for "annointing" their contestants. Your remark about Representative Hoyer being "out of touch and out to lunch" is indicative of just how out of touch the rethugliban are. Regardless of how well you cover your ears and hum, it doesn't change the fact that the rethugliban are polling in the single digits. The truth hurts, but the sooner you accept it the better you feel.

    November 29, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Phil

    It always cracks me up when conservatives talk about the groundswell of conservative support that will enable them to restore America (presumably to the glory days of Eisenhower). They've been talking about it since Reagan's first victory. The fact is that the House, Senat and Presidency have been juggling back and forth between Dems and Republicans for last 30 years and whether the Democrats or the Republicans take control of Congress or the Presidency, very little will change in the everyday life of the average citizen.

    November 29, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |

    "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."

    Sorry Denny, I have to throw the BS flag on that one. The only way Barney Frank would leave Congress is either on a stretcher of if he new for sure he could not be chairman of the House Finance Committee. Barney Frank may be a lot of things, but being dumb is not one of them. He knows as well as you do that the Dems will not take back the House, will lose the Senate and probably lose the White House.

    November 29, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |

    The Republicans will keep the house win the Senate and win the President. OBAMA MUST GO, He is destroying America. Do not vote for any Democrats, they are anti-people.

    November 29, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    All we have to do is vote. These Boards mean absolutely nothing if we don't show up at the polls. Please vote.

    November 29, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Mike Hou

    The dims are delusional if they think they are going to win the election. The republicans could run lassie and win at this point. The whole Dim election strategy is the evil Republicans won't let us raise taxes. always a winner with the electorate.

    November 29, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. doug

    The only house the Democrats are taking is the one from a hard working middle class family and giving it to a welfare taker lib leech. Which is why the people with good in their hearts vote Republican.

    November 29, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Bob in Pa

    Like the people are stupid enough to give Democrats full control ever again !?

    November 29, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. sequoia

    Well let's be frank. The Teabag Congress of 2010 is the most hated in history with a 9% approval rating. They have absolutely FAILED to act on job creation, instead focusing on how the government can control women's uteri, etc. We're paying attention and we want them out. Democrats have a good shot, and Obama has the gift of running against these wackos.

    November 29, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Jennifer NYC

    There is one candidate who would be an excellent President and that person is Jon Huntsman. Steny Hoyer and the Pelosi Democrats are delusional if they think they are going to take back the House. They are destroying the middle class and this country economically. I like Dem social positions but we need someone who will restore our economy. It is a national security issue.

    November 29, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    @ SOLYNDRA – FAST AND FURIOUS – MF GLOBAL, my, how you are hoping and praying that the voters will forget about the promises that were broken by the GOP seconds after they took the House. No movement on jobs, pointless posturing over the debt ceiling resulting in a downgrading of the credit rating, and an approval rating that might break into double digits again if they waste money on an investigation. Face it, the Boehner-led house has been a colossal failure, and there is no enthusiasum amongt Independents to put Mitch McConnell in as the Senate Majority Leader. The WH will not be taken by this field of ethically and morally handicapped mental midgets that feel sales of food products or outsourcing of jobs gives them unique insights into how to fix a deregualtory nightmare they created. Face it, you're throwing the BS flag more than Hoyer.

    November 29, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Rickster

    "President Obama's slow ride down Gallup's daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history."
    lol....heckuva job, Barry!

    November 29, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Lando

    The only people who will support the destructive policies of the Republibans are those afflicted or had signs of a mad cow disease..

    November 29, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Bob in PA, like the people are stupid enough to give the GOP full control ever again? Oh, that's right, its all the Dems fault, and the GOP are as pure as the driven snow. By the way, seen Jack Abramoff on TV recently? Remember him? I'm sure Duke Cunningham, Tom DeLay and Bob Ney do.

    November 29, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Eric in Denver

    Mr Paine you may have forgotten that the senate is still controlled by the left wing of the socialist party. Having a majority in the house only prevents more socialistic ideas from your comrades. In case you have been living under the rock look up any poll in the nation and the independents are moving to the republicans over the democrats. Independents won it for Osama in 2008 but they are very dissapointed in his lack of leadership.

    November 29, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. mmad5camp

    It amazes me that the elected Congress has failed. They came to office on the promise to JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, and what do we have nothing. They won't vote on the President's package for jobs, and won't initiate one of their own, (unless it is tax reduction for the rich). They are now threatening the payroll tax. I thought the Republicans vowed to not vote on ANY tax increase. So why is this one different.

    November 29, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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