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Gibbs: "I Think We'll Retain the House"

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, July 13, 2010.
AP
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs caused a bit of a stir Sunday when he said that he believed there were enough seats in play that the Democrats could lose their majority in the House of Representatives this November.

Facing questions from the press corps today, Gibbs stressed that he did not mean to suggest he believes Democrats will lose the House. He said that he had simply "stated the obvious" with regard to the number of available open seats and that he still believes the Democrats will maintain their majority in the House.

"I think we'll retain the House," Gibbs told reporters. He added, regarding his earlier comments: "I was asked if there were enough seats in play, and I think there are."

Gibbs dodged questions about whether he made the comments in an effort to invigorate a dispirited Democratic Party.

"I think that the Democratic Party will be invigorated by the choice and the discussion that will be had over the course of the next several months," he said when asked if the comments were a political ploy. He added: "I don't think we have anything to be dispirited about."

Earlier today, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said that he also does not believe the Democrats will lose their majority in the House.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele caused a similar hubbub earlier this year when he said that the Republicans would not be able to take the House in 2010.

Asked by Fox News' Sean Hannity whether the GOP could take control of the House, Steele responded, "Not this year." The chairman later in the interview softened his statement, saying, "I don't know yet, we're just beginning to look at the races."

Republicans are widely expected to pick up a significant number of seats in November.