House Democrats look at strategy focused on January 6 ahead of midterms

The Congressional Democratic campaign committee on Thursday rolled out a new homepage on its website with a banner stating that “Republicans incite insurgency” against a backdrop of photos of the pro-Trump crowd as they took storming the Capitol. The page also highlights the 139 Republicans who voted to quash the 2020 election, as well as GOP lawmakers and congressional candidates who may have promoted the “Stop the Steal” rally or movement.
This comes in addition to a new memo from the DCCC, obtained by CNN, promising to remind voters that many Republicans have not only fueled efforts to overthrow democracy by embracing former President Donald Trump‘s election lies, but have spent the past year trying to minimize or reject attack violence.

“Extremist Republicans in the House only spread more lies to obstruct the truth about their role on January 6, and further welcomed violence in Congress by recruiting insurgents,” said DCCC chairman New York Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney in a statement. “Their dangerous far-right extremism is responsible for this aggression that almost robbed us of our democracy, and Democrats will make sure voters know it.”

The effort comes at the start of what is expected to be a difficult election year for Democrats in the House and Senate. Many in the party believe it is imperative to continue highlighting the insurgency, presenting it as a continuing threat to democracy, especially as Republican-led states are pushing for further voting restrictions. Democrats are also trying to use the January 6 anniversary to fuel their stalled efforts to revise election laws.
But other Democrats, while they recognize the gravity of the deadly attack on Capitol Hill, believe there should be a stronger focus on portfolio issues and other concerns that impact lives. daily life of Americans. They are also skeptical that tying GOP candidates to Trump and the riots is sufficient electoral strategy, highlighting the recent Democratic defeat in the race for governor of Virginia.
Republicans, too, believe January 6 will ultimately not matter halfway through. Ahead of the first anniversary, GOP leaders encouraged members to focus instead on issues they believe will drive voter turnout mid-November, such as inflation, crime and school closings. .

“Look what people are focusing on, it’s really focused on what impacts their families, inflation, their schools and public safety, stuff like that,” Florida Senator Rick Scott said. , Chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee. “I think that’s the subject of the elections.”

When asked if he thought the election would rekindle voters ‘feelings about January 6, Scott replied,’ No ‘, before adding,’ Look, what happened was wrong. . I was here. It is despicable that people break into a Capitol. “

Democratic agents say they can talk about both economics and insurgency, arguing it’s not a choice proposition. They believe tying Republicans to Jan.6 is actually damaging the GOP in major suburban battlefield districts, where moderate and independent voters have been put off by Trump’s behavior. And while that was not politically beneficial, Democrats argue they have an obligation to the country – and the constitution – to continue drumming January 6.

“The stakes are clear – while Democrats fight for hardworking Americans and families, House Republicans deal with extremists and insurgents and are too dangerous to rule Washington,” the DCCC memo reads. “Right-wing extremism and the sinister politics of the Republicans have gone beyond divisive to become downright dangerous, and there is no way for Republicans in the House to escape blame for their role in the attack of January 6. “

There are signs that Republicans see downsides to having the insurgency front and center, with most of the party planning for a low-key approach to the anniversary.

Meanwhile, several senior Democratic officials are forming their own super PAC – dubbed “Stop Him Now” – which aims to tie Republican candidates to a possible Trump 2024 candidacy. The group launches Thursday, with its first ad featuring images of riot.

“We were alarmed by the growing conventional wisdom in our party that we should stop talking about Trump – alarmed by this and what was happening in our country,” Mandy Grunwald, a longtime Democratic consultant, told CNN. involved in the effort.

CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere contributed to this report.

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