GOP's Rogers: Just nine need help

June 15, 2010

Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s incumbent retention chair, urged PAC leaders at a briefing Monday to focus on helping just nine GOP members of Congress shore up their bids for re-election, telling attendees that the committee’s work had already shielded a substantial group of members from facing any serious challenge in 2010.

“A year and a half ago, I was giving you the names of 30 members and you know what? It worked,” Rogers said, according to a source familiar with his remarks. “We feel strongly at this point that only nine incumbents need your help to withstand the attacks by the DCCC and their allies.”

The nine members Rogers urged participants to help: California Reps. Dan Lungren and Mary Bono Mack, Hawaii Rep. Charles Djou, Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao, Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry, Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi, Pennsylvania Reps. Jim Gerlach and Charlie Dent and Washington Rep. Dave Reichert.

Democrats updated the list of districts targeted in their “Red to Blue” program Monday, adding four new Republicans – Djou, Gerlach, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Missouri Rep. Jo Ann Emerson – to the group of incumbents they’re aiming to defeat.

But Rogers mocked the Democrats’ target list, noting that 10 of the “Red to Blue” districts are actually home to open House seats currently occupied by Democrats.

“Wouldn’t that be ‘Blue to Blue’?” Rogers joked, according to the source. “We’ve all been having a good laugh about that.”

Rogers emphasized that the NRCC — which has trailed its Democratic counterpart in cash on hand — wants their vulnerable incumbents to run financially independent campaigns.

“Our goal is not just to get every one of them to win… but to get everyone one of them to win with no help from the NRCC,” he said.

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