Republicans struggle to find a line of attacks that stick to Biden

Republicans are having a hard time defining him. The conservative foundation is more upset about “cultural cancellation.” And even former President Donald Trump has turned his attention elsewhere.

Currently, no one in the Republican Party knows what to do with President Joe Biden.

Almost 100 days after Biden took office, the Republicans have yet to express persistent and lively opposition to the new White House. In stark contrast to his predecessor.

It was a problem that plagued the Republicans in the last presidential election, and the leader said he was still working on the Republicans as Biden was moving forward on a positive agenda in the coming months. There is.

“It’s very difficult for him to identify one of his negatives,” said Republican pollster Robert Blizzard. “It’s an ongoing challenge for Republicans.”

The struggle has already begun to shift the line of attack to other prominent Democrats who are more polarized, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Speaker of the Senate Chuck Schumer, prior to the 2022 midterm elections. There are many Republican operatives who are predicting. They are convinced that Biden’s approval will eventually be eroded as his presidency declines.

Influential Republicans have often turned their attention to other issues, as they have struggled to consistently label Biden.

Trump tried to give some of his enemies a derogatory nickname during the presidential election, but since his resignation he has avoided turning much of his anger on Biden alone.

For example, according to a review of emails sent by Mr. Trump’s political action committee and private office, Mr. Trump mentions Biden in less than 20 percent of statements issued since his inauguration. Since Friday, Trump has issued six statements on the recount of Republican-led elections in Arizona, but mentions the Biden administration in one statement.

When Republicans focused on Biden, the attempt couldn’t gain momentum.Texas Senator Ted Cruz I tried to install The tacit understanding that Biden’s style of “boring but radical” Monica to the president last month rarely infuriates a conservative foundation.

Cruz’s fellow Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn went one step further and linked to an article explaining Biden’s relatively modest approach to communicating with the general public. Use it to ask questions Whether the president was in charge of his administration.

Biden’s modest public presence and modest attitude create challenges for Republicans, top party operatives admitted. In a political system where exaggerated personalities have recently been attracting attention.

“He’s a bland person,” said Stephen Law, CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super-PAC that has close ties to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “Maybe he’s strategically dry, or just so. There’s not much to stand out about him.”

“Sense of security”

Biden promised during last year’s campaign that Trump wouldn’t be as headlined at the White House as he was.

This is the approach that has been successful so far in the early days of his inauguration. Sarah Longwell, a former GOP operative and founder of the anti-Trump Republican accountability project, said in her study of voters who supported Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020, they said, “I Shows that it is the most optimistic group in the history of the Focus Group. “

She said it was due to the feeling that the Trump administration’s turmoil was nearing its end and the coronavirus pandemic was finally improving.

“I’m relieved now,” Longwell said. “Imagine a car alarm that had been ringing for a long time and suddenly became quiet.”

Even a conservative base that hates Biden does not organize against him like the so-called “tea party” at the time of the inauguration of former President Barack Obama in 2009. Trump caused a similar grassroots repulsion. The post-inauguration liberals, known as “resistance,” widely fueled his legislative agenda and opposition to Republican candidates.

Such a move has not yet taken shape for Biden.

A Republican operative who refused to comment on the record focused on creating false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, or anger about removing some of Dr. Seuss’s books from distribution. He pointed out his continued insistence on the conservative media. But above all, the party is focusing on internal battles rather than establishing a united front against the Democratic Party.

David McIntosh, president of the conservative group Club for Growth, said that much of the cultural debate that inspired conservatives hasn’t focused directly on Biden lately, but it could change as he continues to pursue progressive policies. Said there is.

“It’s hard to say if it will be personal to him,” McIntosh said. “The factor that makes people angry is that Biden chooses to support the far-left agenda.”

Shift focus

Even if Biden proves to be a Republican’s elusive goal, his approval rate up to the first three months of his inauguration is still relatively modest by historical standards.FivethirtyEight National poll average 54% of Americans approve of his ability to perform his duties, and 41% show disapproval.

It puts Biden ahead of where Trump was at this point in his tenure.However, according to the University of Virginia Political Center, he lags behind all other presidents dating back to Harry Truman in terms of net approval rates. analysis.. Still, Republicans acknowledge that getting approval from the majority of Americans is a result of a bipartisan environment.

Republican operatives are also beginning to question whether Biden needs to be at the center of the message in order to succeed in the midterm elections next year.

Instead, they may refocus on Democrats in Congress. They usually provoke a more negative reaction within the Republican foundation and some moderate voters. In the past, the Republican Party has frequently used Democratic leaders such as Schumer and Pelosi, and candid progressives such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez as villains in the campaign, but with mixed success. was.

However, Republicans may find the line of attack effective in an environment where Democrats have full control of Washington, and the GOP will win only a handful of seats to win the majority in the House and Senate next year. Insists that it needs to be done.

“No matter what you think about Joe Biden, it’s a better line of attack that the Democratic agenda is set by Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic left,” Law said. “And the worst thing you can say about Biden is that he’s riding it 100 percent.”

The law also states that attacks on his mental acuity risk angering moderate voters who are otherwise skeptical of the president, as some Republicans personally state. He warned his party about criticizing Biden.

Some Republicans also bet that Biden’s popularity will naturally decline over time as Biden completes his honeymoon phase. Pandemic fades as a concern.. Voters will soon turn to other aspects of Biden’s agenda, such as taxes and immigration. Republicans believe there will be more opportunities to criticize the president.

Tony Fabrizio, chief pollster for Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign, said, “Some people may think he’s a little likable, but in the end, his policy defines him. I think it will be. “