A top Democrat tasked with winning back the House of Representatives isn’t upset with vulnerable Democrats who have decided to skip the party’s national convention in Charlotte, N.C. — a growing list that includes several candidates DCCC Chairman Steve Israel is helping win election to the House in November.
In fact, the chairman thinks it’s a great idea.
“If they want to win an election, they need to be in their districts,” Israel said at a Reuters event in Washington Tuesday. “I don’t care if the president was at 122 percent favorability right now,” he said, disregarding the idea that poll numbers are keeping Democrats away. “I think [candidates] should be in their districts.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is running a tough reelection campaign in Missouri, gave the same reasoning for her decision not to attend. “You’ve got to say to people at home, ‘Which is more important?’” McCaskill said Wednesday on “Morning Joe.” “Going to a place with a bunch of party honchos and having cocktail parties, or being at home talking to them?”
McCaskill also pushed back against Republican attacks that she is skipping the convention to “avoid one more picture of her sitting next to the president.”
“By the way, if I went to the convention, you know what the Republican operatives would be trying to get the Washington press to talk about?” McCaskill said. “She doesn’t care about Missouri, she’s going to a party convention.”
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.