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GOP laughs off Biden’s ‘ultra-MAGA’ assault, calling it ‘hilarious’

“Ultra MAGA.” “MAGA King.” President Joe Biden, who dodged the phrases “Donald Trump” for greater than a 12 months, has instantly built-in the Trump political motion into his every day lexicon. 

While the White House is using the tactic purposefully, it doesn’t imply it’s about to interact in tradition wars.  

Instead, Biden is trying what on its face appears unthinkable: Knock the GOP on its heels by tying its message to a coverage platform issued by a comparatively obscure Florida senator, Rick Scott. They’re doing it with a time period Republicans embrace – they’re already promoting it on merchandise and fundraising off it – with the GOP already predicting it will backfire, and Scott’s political operation saying it couldn’t be happier.

“It’s hilarious. They’re highlighting their single biggest vulnerability,” mentioned Curt Anderson, a prime political adviser and founding father of the agency OnMessage Inc., which consults for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and quite a few senators and candidates. “It’s almost like they are trying to harm themselves.” 

Whether it is the topic of ridicule from Republicans, although, does not matter to the White House.

“There’s a very sound, databased research that the term ‘MAGA’ is repellant to swing voters,” a supply accustomed to the White House technique advised NBC News.

The analysis, in keeping with the particular person, was carried out by the Center for American Progress and different Democrats over greater than six months.

MAGA is an unmistakable phrase that simply conveys “extremism” to Republicans personal base, and that is how Democrats need to paint Republicans throughout the midterms, White House officers mentioned.

“The plan that congressional Republicans have put forward — whether it’s raising taxes on working families, to picking fights with Mickey Mouse and banning books, are extreme plans that do not focus on the concerns of families across the country,” mentioned Kate Berner, a White House spokesperson. “The President thinks it’s important to call out those plans for what they are, which is extreme and ultra MAGA and contrast them with his approach.” 

Though his social gathering has been hankering for Biden to get extra aggressive with Republicans, even Democratic analysts admit the technique is a dangerous one. While the White House notes that Americans cite inflation and the rising price of vitality and meals as their prime worries — Americans squarely blame the White House for inflation and rising gasoline costs. 

However, portray Republicans’ broader agenda as excessive might dovetail effectively with Democrats’ arguments in opposition to the Supreme Court’s pending plan to overturn abortion protections.

A smattering of pink states have mentioned a variety of extra restrictive rules tied to reproductive rights. In Louisiana, for instance, a panel proposed, then paused, taking over a brand new legislation that may permit girls to be charged with homicide in the event that they acquire an abortion. 

“This is something the president is going to talk about; reproductive health care, reproductive rights — and we will have more to say when the Supreme Court issued a decision on this,” Berner mentioned.

But abortion is not the place the White House is focusing its “ultra-MAGA” rhetoric.

It’s geared at Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who heads the Senate Republicans’ marketing campaign arm. In February, he proposed an financial plan that included taxing all Americans. The White House pointed to polls that confirmed little assist for the tax side of his plan (although different options, like including police funding and congressional time period limits, had been common).

This week, Biden used his bully pulpit to assault Scott, the pinnacle of the GOP’s Senate election committee, over the financial plan. 

Some Democratic strategists and donors say the president is making a mistake in deflecting consideration towards his predecessor at a time when many citizens are targeted on inflation.

Not solely is the two-step argument a sophisticated message — Scott’s plan is extra MAGA than Trump — however persuadable voters will credit score or blame Biden for his dealing with of the economic system, these critics say.

“The problem with the White House is they keep thinking that Donald Trump is on the ballot. This is the part when you get fixated on bogeyman politics. When you fixate on bogeyman politics, it only really works when the bogeyman is around,” Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis said. “It does not work when you are the president and you are the party in control.”

One prominent party fundraiser expressed confusion at the ultra-MAGA branding.

“It sounds silly and it’s elevating and proliferating MAGA and Trump,” the fundraiser said.

But John Anzalone, who has served as Biden’s chief pollster, says the opposite is true. Scott’s plan has been embraced by some national Republicans and, as of now, it’s their main offering.

“It’s smart politics. And not very complicated politics, by the way,” Anzalone said. Scott heads the committee in charge of taking back the Senate. “Therefore, you already know what the midterms are all about [for the GOP] and Joe Biden is telling you what he stands for, and whose facet he stands on.”

Republicans say Americans aren’t going to buy it and for their part, this new tactic is not only futile, it’s passing the buck.

“Biden’s never taken responsibility for any of the crises he’s created so it’s not surprising that he’s now trying to blame Rick Scott, Republicans and whatever ‘ultra MAGA’ means,” said Chris Hartline, spokesman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.



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