The GOP is taking their anti-Washington messaging on the road, in an outreach tour designed to position the party as Main Street's avenger against the Democrats and their Washington gridlock.
Members of the 113th US House of Representatives take their oath as they are sworn in during the opening session at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 3, 2013. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
With Congress recesses in August, House Republicans are heading home armed with a guide on how to best hate on Washington, while positioning themselves as reformers fighting to fix the Capitol.
The guide book, “Fighting Washington for All Americans,” is a media, outreach, and event-planning playbook for smack-talking Capitol Hill to everyone audience—from the conservative nonprofits potentially targeted by the IRS to millennials. It was prepared by the House Republican Conference, chaired by Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington state Republican.
“We’re fighting to fix Washington,” McMorris Rogers declares in her letter to her colleagues. “During August, I encourage you to echo this message and reaffirm our theme,” she wrote. “For there is no better message than one that puts the American people before an out-of-control government.”
The tour is an “opportunity to have conversations about House Republicans’ alternative plan to Washington Democrat’s overreaching, out-of-control government,” the guide’s sample op-ed writes.
Each suggested outreach activity includes tips on planning, promoting, and executing events. For one suggested town hall on “stopping government abuse,” they suggest hosting a town hall at a “local business that is being a negatively impacted by government regulation” to discuss the tax code and regulations. The guide also has a heavy focus on social media and attracting press attention, using hashtagged-phrases as titles (like the #yourtime roundtable) and suggesting that staffers Vine events by taking video clips.
It’s an unsurprising tactic from a party whose own members have criticized it for combative obstructionism. On Friday, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain criticized his own party for focusing on their objections to Obamacare to instead of moving forward with the budget.
“Some of my Republican colleagues are already saying we won’t raise the debt limit unless there’s repeal of Obamacare. I’d love to repeal Obamacare, but I promise you that’s not going to happen on the debt limit,” he said in a radio interview. ”So some would like to set up another one of these shutdown-the-government threats. And most Americans are really tired of those kinds of shenanigans here in Washington.”
Indeed, a recent Gallup poll found that gridlock and an unproductivity are the things Americans hate most in Congress.
Read the full report below.