U.S. Rep. Mel Watt today defended his support for controversial tax cuts and said he "wouldn't be surprised" if Democrats regain the House in 2012.
"I'm not here to predict we will," the Charlotte Democrat told the Uptown Democratic Forum. "But I wouldn't be surprised."
Watt suggested numbers that might bode well for his party as it tries to regain the 25 seats it needs for control:
-- 54 Republicans won with less than 55 percent of the vote.
-- 61 won districts President Obama carried in 2008.
-- And 14 of them won districts carried by both Obama in 2008 and Democrat John Kerry in 2004.
He defended the 2010 health care law, which the new Republican-controlled House has voted to repeal. And he defended his vote in December for a bill that extended tax cuts for wealthy Americans. Many liberals opposed the bill.
Watt pointed to parts of the bill that extended unemployment benefits and cut the payroll tax for a year.
"It had a lot more in it for everyday, average working people than it did for rich people," he said.