Campaign 2010

Sep 12, 2005

GOP Meltdown: Congressional Republicans in Crisis

DCCC Press

Sep 12, 2005

GOP Meltdown: Congressional Republicans in Crisis

As Americans reject mismanagement and ethical problems of Republican Congress, NRCC brings in guru to take charge of spin control

(Washington, D.C.) - Battling public perceptions of a Republican Congress that is focused on the special interests and out of touch with Americans, the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) today announced the hiring of a new "Director of Strategic Communications." The newly created spin position follows a poll from Newsweek showing Republicans losing to Democrats by 12 points on a generic ballot.

"The problem for Congressional Republicans is that no amount of spin can explain the American people's rejection of their policies and disgust with the way they are running Congress," said DCCC communications director Bill Burton. "Under the leadership of Republicans in Congress, gas prices are out of control, energy companies are getting billions in tax breaks, their members are battling indictments and the jailing of their friends and homeland security has been completely politicized. With nothing looking up for Republicans, Americans are looking elsewhere for leadership."

Evidence of a tailspin:

* Republican support achieves new low: In a recent Newsweek poll, 38 percent of registered voters say they would vote for a Republican for Congress if the Congressional elections were held today, while 50 say they would vote for a Democrat. [Newsweek, 9/10/05]

* NRCC Creates Spin Control Position: According to Roll Call today, for the first time in a decade, Republican campaign committee brings in a senior level aide to stem Republican message problems in the House.

* NRCC Chairman concedes competitive field: This weekend, Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), conceded that there are 30 truly competitive House seats across the country. The NRCC has previously said that there were only a few seats in play. [Washington Post, 9/11/05]

* DeLay Chief Quits: In the midst of the toughest ethical accusations of his career, Tom DeLay' chief of staff announced that he is leaving DeLay' operation. Now is the time, as the pitch of his ethics battles increases and his associates are being indicted and even arrested, Tom DeLay could really use his closest aides most.

* Politicized and Mishandled Hurricane Response: Dennis Hastert suggested that isn't necessarily "ensible" for New Orleans to be rebuilt and misses the vote on relief to attend a political fundraiser in Indiana. [Washington Post, 9/2/05].

^ In other parts of the country, Reps. Richard Baker (R-LA) and Tom DeLay (R-TX) make unguarded comments betraying their true sentiment for victims of the hurricane. Baker: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." [Wall Street Journal, 9/2/05]. "Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?" -- House Maj. Tom DeLay, to evacuee children, who "nodded yes, but looked perplexed" (Houston Chronicle blog, 9/2/05).

^ Also, the NRCC took fire for their attempt to politicize a procedural vote on hurricane relief. The newspaper reported flatly that the press release was not true and the NRCC found itself unable to explain why it was that some in their caucus actually did vote against the aid for the Gulf Coast as they attacked Democrats who had. [Salt Lake Tribune, 9/10/05]

* Republican leadership marred by ethical scandals in Washington. Tom DeLay admonished a record three times by the House Ethics Committee. In addition to these ethics charges, DeLay's friends and close associates have been indicted, some even arrested. One associate, super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff was recently indicted, arrested and later released on bail.

^ Just last week, TRMPAC, a political action committee associated with DeLay, was indicted for illegally accepting corporate contributions.