Gibbs is now predicting Dems will hold both chambers of Congress

October 17, 2010

White House press secretary Roberts Gibbs isn’t offering any more words of possible doom and gloom for fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill. 

Three months after riling Democrats by saying they may lose one chamber of Congress in the November 2 election, GibbsUSA/ said on Sunday that he expects them to keep both.

“Our candidates have done a remarkably good job in a tough, political environment,” Gibbs said. “I think that come election night, we’ll retain control of both the House and the Senate.”

Gibbs made the comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the same program where he angered Democrats last July when he said they faced the prospect of losing the House.

“There’s no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control. There is no doubt about that,” Gibbs said at the time.
Gibbs’ remarks in July reflected the findings of a variety of polls. But it still upset Democrats who said he should be promoting their achievements — like passing Obama’s healthcare overhaul — rather than suggesting their possible demise.
Despite Gibbs’ upbeat assessment on Sunday, a number of polls show that Democrats;’ position has actually gotten worse in recent months.
Republicans now seem headed toward taking the House, and possibly the Senate.
Even if Democrats hang on, Republicans are expected to cut deeply into their big majorities in the House and Senate.
Senior White House advisor David Axelrod acknowledged this political fact of life on Sunday.
“Republicans will have more seats in Congress regardless of whether they have control or not,” Axelrod said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We’re hoping with that comes a greater sense of responsibility” to work with the White House rather than just opppose it, Axelrod said.
“It’s up to us to extend our hand, as we have before. It’s up to them to decide whether they’re going to take it or whether they’re going to do what they’ve done for the last two years,” Axelrod said.
This presidential adviser noted: “It takes two to tango.”

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Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Gibbs at White House briefing)

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