Often in politics, a single word or phrase will be plucked out of an interview and turned in to a battle cry by the opposing side. In consecutive weeks this summer, politicians provided ammo to be used against them by their 'friends on the other side of the aisle.'
The first of the two occurred on July 11 when we hosted White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. I asked Mr. Gibbs for a prediction on where he felt the Democrats stood for the November elections - specifically in the House.
He told me, "I think there's no doubt that there are a lot of seats that will be up, a lot of contested seats. I think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall. But I think there's no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control."
This admission made headlines and Mr. Gibbs eventually came back on the show to revise his prediction. However, the Republicans ran with the comment and were able to use it to raise money towards their election fund.
The following week, we hosted a special debate among the men charged with the election campaigns of both parties in both houses of Congress: the DSCC's Robert Menendez, NRSC's John Cornyn, DCCC's Chris Van Hollen and the NRCC's Pete Sessions. What stood out in that show was when I asked Congressman Sessions what painful choices the Republicans would make to tackle the deficit.
He told me, "We need to make sure that we allow employers, which was in that 52-page report that was presented to the president of the United States by CEOs in this country, we need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminish it."
The Democrats latched on to this and argued that Mr. Sessions (and the Republicans) wanted to go back to the "exact same agenda" as George W. Bush - a battle cry they used throughout the 2010 election season.