Top Democrat: We can win back the House this year
Updated: 4:53 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), says he believes Democrats are "in range" to retake control over the House of Representatives in 2012, telling CBS News' John Dickerson Wednesday that Americans have "buyer's remorse" for sweeping the GOP into power in 2010.
Israel, a New York Democrat, agreed with House Speaker John Boehner's recent assessment that there are a number of competitive House races in play. He contended that if Democrats win a majority of the districts held by a Republican despite the fact that voters there backed President Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004, Democrats will re-take the House.
"I hate to agree with Speaker Boehner, I don't often agree with Speaker Boehner, but when he says that there are 52 competitive districts in play, I agree with him completely," Israel told Dickerson on CBSNews.com's web show "Face to Face."
"It's not like I'm ready to hire him as our communications director, but he has acknowledged a reality that deep buyer's remorse is setting in across the country, there are districts that both President Obama and John Kerry won that have a Republican incumbent, those districts are competitive, and the House is in range," Israel said.
Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections and now hold a 242-190 edge over Democrats. Democrats need a net gain of 25 seats to retake the majority.
Israel argued that 2010 was a "tsunami election" in part because "many of those independent voters supported a Tea Party Republican."
"Now they have deep buyer's remorse. They did not know when they voted for a Tea Party Republican that that Tea Party Republican would spend more time trying to figure out how to shut down Planned Parenthood than how to open up a small business," he said.
Israel also cited the dawn of super PACs as having "changed everything" in modern day politics.
"It's the one thing that does make me toss and turn at night," Israel said. "What's out of our control are these super PACs, these secretive stealth groups that will beam into districts without disclosing where they got their money and say whatever they want to say about candidates."
"They changed the equation in 2010," he added. "John, we did not lose the House to Republicans, we lost it to Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers. We lost it to these super PACs. We didn't have an adequate response to that secret money and that super PAC infrastructure in 2010. I'm told there will be a robust response in this cycle. And I hope there will be."
- Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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