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Public Statements

CBS "Face the Nation" - Transcript

Interview

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REPUBLICAN CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-Maryland/Chairman, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee): Well, Bob, Karl Rove just told you he did not want the voters to know who is spending these tens of millions of dollars essentially to buy a Congress that does the bidding of special interests around the country. We had a bill in the House and the Senate, it
was called the Disclose Act. It would require all these different interests whether they are left, center or right, to disclose, to tell the voters who they are, so the voters could exercise their own judgment. Every Republican, but one voted against it. In other words, every Republican voted to keep the voters in the dark because they knew that when the voters connect the dots and they see the connection between what these special interests are spending and the special int--interest agenda that they want to pursue, they don't like what they see.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Why do you think all this money is pouring in to these groups that are raising money for conservatives and Republicans?

REPUBLICAN CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, it's-- it's very clear, what you have is a whole group of big money special interests who had their day. I mean they ran Washington when George Bush and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove were in the White House with the Republican Congress. In the last twenty-two months, their power has been reined in and they want to get back. Let me
give you some examples, Bob, of-- of what we did. Wall Street reform, we said we're going to hold the big banks accountable so that no longer our taxpayers left footing the bill for their reckless decisions. Big banks didn't like that. Big banks didn't like it when we said you're not going to get a big cut of the student loan program, the college student loan program, we're going to give that money directly to students, so they can afford college. Multinational
corporations didn't like it when we started to close these perverse loopholes that act-- actually rewarded them when they shipped jobs, not goods, overseas. These special interests don't like the fact that their power has been reined in and they're fighting back by spending tens of millions of dollars to try and buy a Congress that will do their bidding again. It's as simple as that and that's why Karl Rove and these groups don't want to tell the voters who they are because voters are going to figure out that they they're trying to punish members of Congress who voted to rein them in and they want to buy members of Congress who will do their bidding again.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know, some people say that when political parties or candidates begin to talk about the other side getting secret donations, it's really the-- the remark of a doomed campaign because that they say you're just trying to shift the subject to something else because you've got a bad economy and you've got a lot of people out of work. I-- I have to say do you
think people go to bed at night worried about secret campaign contributions or are they worried about whether they're going to have a job tomorrow?

REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Oh, I think they're worried about whether they're going to have a job tomorrow. And I think they would worry, about the fact, that the folks who ran the show for eight years and drove the economy into the ditch and served the interest of some of these special interests like insurance companies that saw their profits quadruple during
the eight years under the Bush administration, they're worried about going back to those kinds of economic policies that helped a few at the expense of the many. Look there's a reason that this group 60 Plus, for example, which is funded by the insurance companies is spending all this money. They would benefit greatly, from the Republican plan to privatize Medicare. And that's
just not a theory. That was the alternative Republican budget last year that was voted on by John Boehner and all the Republicans in the leadership. It would cut Medicare by seventy-five percent. Turn it into a voucher program. And essentially turn seniors over to the private insurance industry. That-- that may be very good for the insurance industry. They would get a
windfall. But it would be very bad for seniors. Just as the Republican plan to privatize social security, which George Bush the other day said was his biggest piece of unfinished business, would be great for the folks on Wall Street, but it would be terrible for seniors who would have seen huge losses in their social security retirement, if that had been in place during the financial
meltdown. But, look, the-- these big interests are fighting hard to get back in power. And I think the American people are waking up to that fact. And that's why I think you're seeing a closing of the political energy gap that's been talked about.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Congressman, why do you think it is the President's had such a hard time getting his message across? You say that he has a lot to brag about--health care reform, reform of Wall Street and so forth. But it doesn't seem to be catching on with people.

REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, any time you have this many people who are still out of work, it's tough. But I think what the President is breaking through on is just to remind people that the night before he was sworn in, we were losing seven hundred thousand jobs every month in this country. Now we're not where you want to be. The pace of the recovery is
not where anybody would want to be. But we have seen eight consecutive months of privatesector job growth. And why would we go back to a set of economic policies that served these special interests that are now spending all this money because their powers been reined in, it served the-- the big oil companies. It served the biggest insurance companies. It-- it served all
those guys very well at the expense of everybody else. Why just as we're coming out of these would we go back to the policies that got us into the mess to begin with? You know, if you look at who would be the-- the chairman of the Energy Committee if the Republicans, took over, he's
the guy who apologized to BP, when the President want to hold BP accountable. If you look at the guy who would be the head of the Budget Committee, if the Republicans took over, he's the architect of the plan to privatize Medicare and social security. And finally, John Boehner who
would be the Republican leader, he's the guy that huddled with the Wall Street lobbyists to kill Wall Street reform, and now has said that he wants to repeal Wall Street reform. Well, they will be-- they will be pap-- popping the champagne bottles on Wall Street, if these guys get elected. There's no doubt about that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.

REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: As will all the other big special interests be having a big celebration.

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): All right. Very quickly, we have about twenty seconds. What happens on election night?

REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Well, I'm confident the Democrats are going to retain their majority because the American people are connecting the dots between these tens of millions of dollars of secret special interest money. When we look under the curtain we're beginning to see who these groups are. And, the fact, that they want to take us back to a day
when special interests ran Washington. And if you look at some of the early--

BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Okay. Got to go.

REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: --early voting states, their early voting states are showing good news for the Democrats.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Thank you so much, Congressman.
Back in a second.

REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Thank you, Bob.

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