Pence ‘maybe not as optimistic as Gibbs’ about GOP chances

Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.) sparred Sunday over their respective parties’ chances in the 2010 midterm elections.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, both Clyburn and Pence said they believed that their party could be in control of the House after November polling.

Pence said voters were tired of increased government spending as well as the bailout of the auto industry by the Obama administration. In turn, they want a new direction in Washington, according to the Indiana House member.

“I am optimistic about our chances. Maybe not optimistic as Robert Gibbs, but I am optimistic,” Pence said, making a dig at White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’s suggestion last week that Democrats could lose the House.

Clyburn said the perception of Democratic in-fighting and panicking over the fall elections, set off by Gibbs’s comments, was wrong. The South Carolina Democrat said it was a tough election climate but he was not worried about losing the House.

“I wanted to say this to my friend here. I think you are misreading the tea leaves here. And I do mean the intended pun,” Clyburn said, speaking to Pence.

Clyburn said Republicans have been wrong in their campaign predictions in the past. He noted the GOP loss earlier this year in the special election for the late Rep. John Murtha’s (D-Pa.) seat, which was considered a Republican-leaning district.

 “We believe we are going to have a very strong showing come November,” Clyburn said. “This is a tough climate but we are tough campaigners and a tough people.”