Van Hollen fires back at NYT assertion that Dems will give up on vulnerables

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) fired back Sunday afternoon at a New York Times story that said party leaders were planning a "brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority."

Van Hollen released a statement saying the story "erroneously" said the DCCC would redirect resources to two dozen viable campaigns if a review in the next two weeks showed vulnerable candidates weren't gaining ground.

"The Members of Congress referenced in the article are all running strong campaigns focused on their solid records and drawing sharp distinctions between themselves and their opponents on the key issues at stake in this election," Van Hollen said. "The DCCC is heavily invested in these campaigns. In each campaign mentioned, the DCCC has provided and continues to provide support for field operations and other key campaign activities."

Lawmakers cited in the article as being in races moving out of the Democrats' reach included Reps. Betsy Markey (Colo.), Tom Perriello (Va.), Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio), Frank Kratovil Jr. (Md.), Budget Chairman John Spratt (S.C.) and Earl Pomeroy (N.D.).

(See The Hill's slideshow of the 10 most endangered House Democrats)

Van Hollen said "aggressive" campaigning was continuing race-by-race, focusing on voter outreach and Republican policies.

"Every campaign cycle the DCCC and other campaign committees face difficult resource allocation decisions and this election cycle is no different," Van Hollen said. "What is different is the kind of choice before the American people at this critical juncture — do we move forward and build on the fragile economic progress we have made or do we adopt an economic agenda that will kill the budding job growth and send us back into a deep economic ditch.”

The Times article maintained that "a national campaign trumpeting Democratic accomplishments on health care, education and Wall Street regulation has given way to a race-by-race defensive strategy."