Former DNC chair: GOP would win control of Congress if elections held now

Alex Pappas | Political Reporter

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe predicted before a gathering of Republicans this summer that the GOP would win control of both chambers of Congress in 2012 if the elections were held today.

That would mean Republicans would retain control of the House and win a majority in the Senate.

McAuliffe, a longtime Democratic adviser who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Virginia in 2009, made the comments in July as an invited speaker before the group Republicans Associated for Mutual Support (RAMS), The Daily Caller was told on Friday.

A spokesman for McAuliffe on Friday didn’t dispute that the former DNC chairman made the comments, but stressed that McAuliffe was only predicting what would likely happen if the elections were held now — and not in November 2012 when the political environment could be different.

That spokesman, Levar Stoney, said McAuliffe always says it’s impossible to predict “with certainty,” especially because the Republican presidential nominee and the state of the economy in 2012 are not known.

One attendee at the gathering, Steven Sutton of the Leadership Institute, confirmed McAuliffe’s comments to TheDC.

“I turned to my tablemates and said ‘woah,’” Sutton recalled of hearing McAuliffe, the veteran Democratic operative, handicap the elections as a win for Republicans. He said McAuliffe was “very funny” and “forthcoming” at the event.

Sutton, a former chief of staff on Capitol Hill to several Republican House members, estimated that there were more than 100 people present for the speech. McAuliffe, he said, also predicted that President Obama would win re-election in 2012. (RELATED: Huckabachmann or RINO-killer? Only time will tell when it comes to Michele)

RAMS holds monthly meetings in Washington, D.C. at the Capitol Hill Club, and Sutton said it was rare for a Democrat to be the featured speaker.

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