Tom Reynolds

US Rep. Tom Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Commitee, was Tuesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On Republican prospects in the midterm elections:

"The first half of the game seemed to be momentum, with ... wind in the face of Republicans. We have started the second half, and there seems to be a little momentum on the Republican side. But the whole game is going to [come down to] the last two minutes."

On the impact of President Bush's poll ratings:

"We had good news that the ... rating in one poll is over 40 today. I'd love to have him in the low 40s. I call it putting oxygen in the room."

On prospects for an anti-incumbent backlash on Nov. 7:

"Recent ratings for the Congress are not good. But the real factor is: What do you think of your member of Congress? I don't buy into a lot of anti-incumbent sentiment. We're getting into an election that is going to be fought out [over] the same three dozen seats we saw in the 2002 and '04 elections. We'll grind them out until we get a majority."

On whether passage of immigration reform is vital for Republicans this year:

"I hope we will work through a resolve. I don't know if it will be the president's resolve. The House has said clearly it wants to see border security first. I want to get to an agreement, but I do not believe we will just cut the Senate bill in half and pass it."

On whether it's good for American politics to have so few competitive seats:

"I live by the cards that are played in my cycle."

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