House GOP campaign chief touts midterm election recruits

The head of the House Republicans' campaign arm Saturday touted four GOP candidates running for congressional seats in the upcoming midterm elections, urging voters to bring some "accountability" to Washington by electing Republicans in November.

Citing complaints about President Obama's handling of Obamacare, the crisis at the border and the Veterans Affairs hospital scandal, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., urged Americans to send a message to the president with their midterm vote in the weekly GOP address.

"These are the problems he promised to solve, but instead he's become a part of them," he said. "We all hope things will get better, but in 94 days, we get to do more than just hope. We have the chance to deliver the accountability that cannot come soon enough."

Walden, who's in charge of candidate recruitment as the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, highlighted some of the GOP's most promising new faces. Among them: Martha McSally, a "retired Air Force colonel and the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat" who's running for Congress in Arizona, Will Hurd, a "former CIA agent and successful businessman" running to represent a border district in Texas, and Carlos Curbelo, a "son of Cuban exiles" and a Miami-Dade County School Board member who's running in Florida.

Those candidates are "just as frustrated" with Washington "as you are," Walden said. "This November, Americans can reject the complacency and incompetence and begin to restore a government that works for us and not against us."

Most analysts expect the GOP to perform well in the upcoming midterm elections. Between the president's mediocre approval ratings and a midterm election climate that generally favors the party out of the presidency, Democrats have their work cut out for them if they hope to save their majority in the Senate and pad their ranks in the House.

While forecasting for the House is harder to come by, a CBS News/New York Times Battleground Tracker analysis last week found the Republicans narrowly favored to capture the Senate this year, with a probable 51-49 seat edge if the November election were held immediately.

Still, the margin of error on that current seat estimate, at plus or minus 2 seats, gives Democrats a real chance to retain the Senate.

One factor that could give Democrats a sorely needed boost is the improving economy, which is finally showing signs of sustained growth after the financial crisis and the recession.

In his own weekly address Saturday, the president hailed the latest employment report released Friday that showed the economy adding 209,000 new jobs in July.

"We're now in a six-month streak with at least 200,000 new jobs each month," the president said. "That hasn't happened since 1997. All told, our businesses have created 9.9 million jobs over the past 53 months. That's the longest streak of private-sector job creation in our history."

But for all the progress, the president added, the economy would be growing even more quickly "if Congress would do its job."

He urged lawmakers to act on the minimum wage, infrastructure funding and paid leave for workers, saying they can "help working families feel more stable and secure."

And the president defended his use of executive orders, much criticized by Republicans, saying he's simply filling the void left by the inactive Congress.