WASHINGTON, July 18, 2010 -- Vice President Joe Biden had a warning for Republicans who say they got "their groove back" heading into the November election. On ABC's "This Week" Biden admitted Democrats will lose seats but added, "It won't be that bad."
"I think we're going to shock the heck out of everybody," the vice president said in an exclusive interview. "We're going to win the House and we're going to win the Senate. We're not going to lose either one of those bodies."
That bold prediction came exactly a week after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted that enough seats are in play this fall that Democrats could lose control of the House of Representatives.
It might have been a simple statement of fact and mathematical possibilities, but Republicans smelled blood, calling it "Gibbs-gate" and proclaiming they will retake the House.
"I think our candidates are going to take us from good to great to victory, and I think Republicans can win in November," claimed Texas Republican Pete Sessions.
On NBC's "Meet the Press" he even boldly picked a number: "I think we're going to be slightly over 40."
Such a big win would return the House to Republican control.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, appearing on the same program, said the GOP celebration was premature.
"I know these guys are popping the champagne bottles already over there, but the fact of the matter is the Democrats will retain a majority in the House," Van Hollen said.
The most recent ABC News poll found that while voters don't have much confidence in Democrats in Congress, just 32 percent, the confidence rate for Republicans is only 26 percent. So, Democrats are continuing to label Republicans as the party of "no."
"What we are proud to say no to, and I think what the public wants us to say no to, are things like the government running banks, insurance companies, car companies," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on CNN's State of the Nation.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn sounded the same theme.
"To all the bad ideas that they hear coming out of Washington these days, 'no' is a good start," he said. "The problem is that our friends on the Democratic side, including the president, have passed one unpopular policy measure after another and told the American people, 'We don't care what you think. We know better than you do what's good for you,' and I think the birds are coming home to roost."
Republicans were pressed on the Sunday morning talk shows to outline a different course for the country. They were short on specifics which left it to Van Hollen to try and define them.
He said Republican budget leaders want to "go back to a proposal to partially privatize social security."
"They also have a plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program," he said. "You give the senior the voucher, by the way, the value of that voucher is going to decrease substantially and we're going to throw you over to the insurance industry."
Van Hollen said Democrats want and expect President Obama to campaign for them in the run up to the November election.
"He's an asset, and he's also very clearly drawing the distinctions here -- what the choices are for voters, going forward," the Democrat said.