12/12/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The House Fight For Energy Chairmanship: Dingell Vs. Waxman

Fighting words are being exchanged in the brewing battle over the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In an interview on Detroit's WJR Radio last week, current Chair John Dingell (D-Mich.) called challenger Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) an "anti-manufacturing left-wing Democrat" who has a "serious lack of understanding of people in the auto industry and manufacturing generally."

Undeterred, Waxman says, "I think I have a good chance of winning." A former Democratic member-cum-lobbyist agrees, telling CongressDaily, "Henry has the votes." Waxman hasn't revealed the names of all of his supporters, aka his "whip team," but Reps. Howard Berman (Calif.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), and George Miller (Calif.) have voiced their support.

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