Rep. John DingellJohn DingellRaces heat up for House leadership posts Democrats flubbed opportunity to capitalize on postal delays COVID-19 bill limiting liability would strike the wrong balance MORE (D-Mich.) has called his challenger for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Henry WaxmanHenry Arnold WaxmanLobbying groups received millions in PPP loans The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2019 Lawmakers come together to honor Cummings: 'One of the greats in our country's history' MORE (D-Calif.), an "anti-manufacturing, left-wing Democrat".

Dingell, who is in the process of whipping up support from colleagues to retain support of the influential committee, told a Detroit radio show last week that Waxman lacks a concern for the manufacturing industry, particularly the auto industry (workers in which populate Dingell's southeast Michigan district).

"At a time when the auto industry, American manufacturing, American industry needs somebody who understands these things in that particular spot to look after them and see that they are fairly treated," Dingell said, "he wants to put in an anti-manufacturing, left-wing Democrat."

Dingell also denied the battle was a proxy battle against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over leadership. "As of this particular time, Nancy is not in this particular race. And we don't want this to get to be a race between us and her," Dingell said. "And I don't think that it is. And if I have any say, it will not become so."

Dingell called the battle between him and Waxman a "long-standing fight" over the policy direction of the committee, but promised that he would win the votes to stay on as chairman.

Listen to the audio of the interview here.

-Michael O'Brien