A high-profile and well-respected GOP pollster is strongly criticizing the new effort by the GOP Congressional leadership to revive the party’s national security attacks on Obama, saying the strategy risks making the party look “out of touch and irrelevant.”
“What are we, in a time machine?” the pollster, Tony Fabrizio, asked scornfully in an interview with me moments ago. “We just got clobbered in two successive elections and lost majorities in both Houses, and the leadership appears to keep on playing the same cards.”
Fabrizio’s public criticism reflects rising concern among some Republican Congressional staffers and other consultants about this strategy, though most won’t voice it publicly.
GOP Congressional leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have embarked on an aggressive new effort to revive national security as an issue and paint Obama as weak on terror (again). Boehner recently released a video complete with 9/11 imagery that asks, “Do you feel safer”? McConnell has stepped up attacks on Obama for lacking a plan to relocate Guantanamo detainees.
“Most people are looking to DC to see how they’re going to solve the financial and banking crisis,” Fabrizio said. He noted that these attacks do not make people feel targeted by “an imminent threat,” adding that trafficking in them means “you risk looking out of touch and irrelevant.”
Fabrizio added that voters would watch these attacks and ask, “What the hell are these guys talking about?”
To my knowledge, the only other high-profile Republican to openly question this new strategy was MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who earlier this week denounced it as “discordant” with the country’s mood. But expect more like this if this strategy continues.
Update: DNC spokesperson Hari Sevugan emails over a response:
“It’s sort of pathetic that instead of offering any new ideas, John Boehner and the GOP have to keep going back to the Karl Rove playbook which the American people have so soundly rejected. My only question is where are the wolves.”
Post above edited slightly for accuracy.