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Democrats define GOP candidates as extreme ahead of the first debate
The Biden campaign and the DNC have focused on branding the Republican primary field as runners in a race to the far-right in support of extreme policies that most Americans oppose.
THE GOP DEBATE • The center of the political universe will be in Wisconsin tonight as eight presidential hopefuls take on each other in the first Republican primary debate for the chance to face President JOE BIDEN.
The details: The debate will take place at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee from 9–11 p.m. ET and be aired on Fox News. It will be moderated by BRET BAIER and MARTHA MacCALLUM.
The invitees to the debate: (1) Florida Gov. RON DeSANTIS, (2) entrepreneur and conspiracy theorist VIVEK RAMASWAMY, (3) former Vice President MIKE PENCE, (4) former Ambassador to the United Nations NIKKI HALEY, (5) former New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (6) Sen. TIM SCOTT of South Carolina, (7) Former Arkansas Gov. ASA HUTCHINSON, (8) North Dakota Gov. DOUG BURGUM.
The Democratic counter-message: Ahead of the debate, the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee have focused on defining the GOP field as runners in a race to the far-right in support of extreme policies that most Americans oppose.
In particular, DNC Chair JAIME HARRISON traveled throughout Wisconsin on Tuesday speaking with core parts of the Biden-Harris coalition—Black voters, women, young people, and union workers—discussing the high stakes of next year’s election.
“This election will be a choice between hope or fear, between competence or chaos, between unity or division,” Harrison told reporters. “And I believe just as they did in 2020, voters will choose hope. They’re going to choose unity. And they will send President Biden and Vice President KAMALA HARRIS back to the White House to finish the job.”
The DNC rolled out a series of billboards and will fly a plane around Milwaukee with a banner reading: “GOP 2024: A Race For the Extreme MAGA Base” and deploy a mobile billboard to circle the debate venue that features details about each GOP candidate’s agenda.
The Biden campaign also launched an ad in the Milwaukee market that features a concrete finisher and mom of two highlighting how Bidenomics has improved the lives of working families like hers. The ad is part of a 16-week, $25 million blitz Team Biden launched to reach key voters in battleground states, including what the campaign says is the largest, earliest investment in Black and Latino media for a reelection bid in history.
The method behind the message: A Biden campaign official told Supercreator News that Americans may not be tuning into every development of the Republican primary this early in the cycle so there’s an opportunity to fill that void.
“This is a moment to highlight just how extreme they are on so many issues and also that their positions are just so deeply unpopular,” the official said. “And we are more than happy to have a debate on the issues since we are on the right side of public opinion.”
It also helps that the campaign isn’t held back by the pandemic restrictions Biden’s 2020 operation had to navigate.
The official added that COVID-19 informed and updated the best ways to reach people and how people want to receive information.
“We know that there are critical parts of the Biden-Harris coalition that need direct outreach,” the official said. “And I think we’re using the Republican debate, which is in a critical turnout state, to do outreach to some of the key constituencies that we need to drive turnout on and doing it in August 2023.”
The abortion conversation: Ahead of the debate, Democrats focused on the GOP candidates’ anti-abortion records and the commitment by some to sign a national abortion ban despite recent examples across the country of voters opposing such a policy.
“The Republicans who will be on the stage, and even those who aren’t on the stage, celebrated the end of Roe [v. Wade],” Sen. TINA SMITH (D-Minn.) said on Tuesday. “So the reality is that none of these candidates trust women enough to make these decisions for themselves because they believe that they know better and that’s why we can’t trust them to be president.”
Planned Parenthood Votes launched its first campaign ad of the election cycle in Wisconsin and on social media platforms, which features a compilation of Pence, DeSantis, Haley, Scott, and former President DONALD TRUMP expressing support for a national abortion ban.
“We have the receipts and we’re bringing them directly to the voters,” JENNY LAWSON, executive director of PPV said in a statement. “There’s nowhere to hide.”
The Trump factor: Trump is skipping tonight’s debate claiming there’s no reason to since he’s the current frontrunner. Instead, he’s expected to sit for an interview with former Fox News host TUCKER CARLSON in a petty attempt to slice viewers away from Fox because he’s big mad at the network for Lord knows what this time.
The interview will come a day before he will surrender to Fulton County authorities on charges tied to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
His debate absence also will follow a scathing report in the Washington Post detailing how the manufacturing boom that Trump promised Wisconsin but never materialized is now happening under Biden’s watch.
“[Wisconsin] is ground zero for his failed record on the economy, his broken promises to American workers,” MICHAEL TYLER, communications director for the Biden campaign said. “So it’s no surprise that he’d be skipping the first debate here in Wisconsin.”
Neck-and-neck: Campaign officials acknowledged that despite what they call extremism from the GOP candidates, polling in battleground states shows Biden neck-and-neck with Trump, his likely opponent in the general.
Campaign Co-Chair CEDRIC RICHMOND pointed to polling that showed President Biden wouldn’t win the Democratic nomination as one of the main reasons the president is unworried about his current numbers.
“He gets counted out every time,” Richmond said.
But the campaign added that the polling also shows why they’re not taking voters—even those who supported Biden in 2020—for granted in the early days of the reelection push.
“That’s why we’re up on the airwaves right now,” Tyler said. “And that’s gonna stand in stark contrast to what you’ll see on Wednesday night where you’ll have this slate of Republican candidates arguing into an echo chamber over who can be the most MAGA, the most extreme—and none of them will be offering solutions to the problems that face Americans.”
👋🏾 HI, HEY, HELLO! Good Wednesday morning. It’s August 23, 2023. Thank you for reading Supercreator Daily, your guide to the politicians, power brokers, and policies shaping the American creator experience. Get in touch: email@example.com.
IN THE KNOW
SENATE 2024 • Former Rep. DEBBIE MUCARSEL-POWELL (D-Fla.) announced her campaign to unseat Sen. RICK SCOTT (R-Fla.) in the Senate next year. Mucarsel-Powell, the first Ecuadorian American and first South American-born immigrant elected to Congress, faces an uphill climb in a reddening state that with Texas represents one of the few pickup opportunities for Senate Democrats in an otherwise tough electoral map.
HEALTH CARE • The entire Texas Democratic congressional delegation called on the Biden administration to pause the state’s redetermination process in the wake of a whistleblower report that detailed the elimination of Medicaid coverage for almost 100,000 Texans. A third round of notices is scheduled to be sent next month to children, older adults, and people with disabilities receiving Medicaid. Redetermination is the process that states use to make sure enrollees maintain their eligibility for Medicaid benefits.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE • Rep. MAXINE WATERS, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, asked the congressional watchdog agency to study the impact of AI and other house and property technologies on affordable housing. “Many point to technological developments as a source of innovation and efficiency in the housing market,” Waters wrote in a letter. “However, there is nothing innovative about technologies that generate corporate profits while neither improving consumer affordability nor increasing access to housing for all.”
GUN SAFETY • A trio of bipartisan lawmakers—Sen. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-Minn.) and Reps. BRIAN FITZPATRICK (R-Pa.) and DEBBIE DINGELL (D-Mich.)—filed a friend of the court brief in a pending Supreme Court case that will decide whether the government can ban people with a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a gun.
BIDEN REELECTION • The Biden campaign announced SERGIO GONZALES as campaign senior advisor to Vice President KAMALA HARRIS. Gonzales worked for Harris when she was a US senator for California and previously worked for Sen. MICHAEL BENNET (D-Colo.).
WORKER EMPOWERMENT • Teamsters announced it ratified the five-year agreement it reached with UPS last month to avoid a devastating worker’s strike that would have led to an economic catastrophe. The agreement passed by the highest vote—86.3 percent—for a contract in the history of the Teamsters at UPS.
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All times Eastern
President Biden is in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and has no public events scheduled.
Vice President Harris is in Washington, DC and has no public events scheduled.
The House is out.
The Senate is out.
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