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Reynolds: 2006 Is Not 1994

I trekked through a driving rainstorm this morning to hear Rep. Tom Reynolds (N.Y.), the head of House Republicans' campaign arm, give a briefing on the political state of play.

Playing to a packed conference room of reporters at the Republican National Committee building on Capitol Hill, Reynolds steadfastly rebutted the idea that President Bush's sagging job approval rating, coupled with similar marks for Congress, will have any impact next November.

Reynolds said that while "there are some issues out there," he fully expects the GOP to be in the majority following the 2006 election.

Asked about the recent indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), Reynolds described it as a "political" action and expressed confidence that DeLay will win reelection to his Houston area district in 2006. As for the three GOP members that have returned contributions from DeLay, Reynolds said: "Each member has to do what they need to do."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been beating the drum lately in an attempt to pressure lawmakers to return contributions from DeLay and the various campaign committees he controls. The group sent me a packet of press clips earlier this week detailing stories that have been written in 30 regional newspapers about DeLay's donations to a wide variety of Republicans.

A "pre-buttal" to the Reynolds briefing distributed by the DCCC this morning reads: "With Tom DeLay now having been indicted twice [emphasis in original text] just in the last week, the name 'Tom DeLay' has now become a household name. With his name recognition in the 70s, 'DeLay' has become synonymous with corruption and indictment."

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 7, 2005; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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