Davis: Democrats can win 2022 midterms by asking Republicans to answer two questions

Here are two questions that Senate and House Democratic campaign committees should demand — through well-funded national and state ad campaigns, on the broadcast network, cable news channels and social media — that the Republicans answer, yes or no:

1. Will you publicly repudiate Donald Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

2. Do you agree with the Supreme Court’s decision allowing states to make it a crime for a woman to have an abortion if she becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest?

Just “yes” or “no” to both.

The exact formulation of these questions is essential. Democrats should simply state the indisputably true facts (Trump called Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “savvy”) and the contents of Justice Samuel Alito’s proposed Supreme Court ruling (it would allow states to ban all abortions, even from the moment of conception and including after rape or incest).

Most important is the wording of national, state and local ad campaigns. Ads must state those truthful words about what Trump and Justice Alito said and must demand a yes or no answer. It should be the responsibility of the media to do the same, but so far they have not.

I’ve seen most interviews on mainstream media – including CNN, MSNBC and Fox – where a politician won’t give a “yes” or “no” answer and the reporter doesn’t follow up to make sure that the viewer understands that the politician refuses to answer.

An example of this is what happened when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) held a press conference after the Alito draft ruling was leaked. He was asked about his reaction to the substance of the decision, and he immediately changed the subject to want to talk about the “leak” of this decision. I didn’t hear a single reporter interrupt him to insist that he answer the question and stop changing the subject.

Nor did a single journalist ask McConnell, bluntly, “Do you support allowing states to ban women from having abortions after they become pregnant through rape or of incest, which Alito’s opinion would specifically allow states to do – yes or no? ”

Why didn’t the assembled media do this? I’m talking about liberal-oriented media as well as conservative media. There were a lot of journalists in this press group, many of whom I know and respect – but why didn’t they?

More importantly, why haven’t the Senate and House Democrats’ campaign committees already run national, local, and social media ads that ask these two questions? Why are we Democrats always too little too late on messaging, compared to the GOP setting the national message early and often?

I hope the response to this column is that readers who disagree with Trump’s support for Putin, as well as the Republican Party’s support for allowing state legislatures to declare abortion illegal – in fact , in many states, to make it a crime to have an abortion immediately after conception by defining the fertilized egg within one second of fertilization as a “person” – will immediately demand better public messaging from the National Committee Democrat (DNC) and Senate and House campaign committees.

Why not launch ad campaigns on these two questions and not stop until all Republicans running in 2022 for Senate and House seats are forced to answer, yes or no, to both questions – or are continually embarrassed on local and national television for refusing to answer the question and trying to change the subject.

Most US polls, whether conducted by conservative or liberal pollsters, have shown that more than 70% of all voters across all parties oppose Trump’s support for Putin and oppose Alito’s will and of the national GOP to allow the state to ban abortion after rape and incest. .

The continued silence and lack of a national message by the DNC and the Democratic Senate and House campaign committees is anyone’s guess. I hope this article inspires them to change and take the lead, and insist on simple, straightforward answers to both of these questions.

Lanny Davis was special adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1996 to 1998 and a member of a panel on privacy and civil liberties after 9/11 that advised President George W. Bush. He is co-founder of the Washington law firm Davis Goldberg Galper PLLC, which specializes in crisis management in support of litigation and other legal matters.

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