Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) retirement is a sign that Democrats are on the defensive this year.
“The House Democrats don’t think they’re going to be wielding the gavels,” the Washington Post reported Walden’s reaction to the Waxman news on Thursday.
“I think we will pick up seats,” Walden continued, according to Politico. “In a good night in a good year, which I think this will be, we will pick up seats. I’m not going to project is that six or 30, others will do that, the long and the short of it is the field is narrower, the intensity will be higher and where you’re vulnerable is where you have your members in the other party’s seats and the other party is not doing real well.”
Waxman’s retirement means over 30 House members this election cycle have announced plans to leave the House either to retire or run for another office.
But while Walden expressed confidence, fundraising reports indicate that House Republicans have something to worry about. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the counterpart to the NRCC, announced it raised a hefty $75 million in 2013. The NRCC has not released its total fundraising numbers for 2013 yet.