GOP targets Democrats who downplayed concerns over Biden mental fitness – Washington Examiner

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Republicans in both chambers are targeting Democrats who have previously downplayed concerns about President Joe Biden’s fitness for office in an effort to help the GOP pick up seats this fall.

The National Republican Campaign Committee released a memo that outlined a new strategy to blast House Democrats’ “blind allegiance” to Biden as a weapon in an effort to “expand the map and grow the House majority.” The memo comes days after Biden’s widely criticized performance in the first presidential debate.

“House Democrats have stood by and enabled this crisis due to their own fecklessness and allegiance to their party over the people of this country,” said Jack Pandol, the NRCC’s communications director, in the memo.

Throughout the memo, according to Politico, Republicans point out specific lawmakers’ previous comments, calling them the equivalent of “gaslighting and misdirection.”

They specifically point to remarks from Reps. Mary Peltola (D-AK), Hillary Scholten (D-MI), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Susan Wild (D-PA), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Pat Ryan (D-NY) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA).

Many lawmakers in tough reelection battles have sought to distance themselves from questions about Biden’s mental acuity in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Hur’s report that found charges were not “warranted” over Biden’s mishandling of classified documents but raised questions about his mental capabilities. 

“Since the debate, not one of these vulnerable Democrats have spoken out. And yet — their leadership, seeking to fill the void, has leaned in,” the memo says, referencing Sunday show appearances by members of Democratic leadership.

“I hate to say it, but I think this strategy is effective,” said a Democratic operative, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the person’s work on a number of campaigns this cycle. “Not only does Biden have to dig himself out of this hole, but some of these vulnerable Democrats have to dig out themselves with him. It’s not a good look for any of us.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is downplaying the Republicans’ new strategy, emphasizing that many Democrats are outrunning Biden and their Republican challengers.

“House races have always been about the strength of our candidates, combined with the fact that  Democrats deliver when in charge while extreme Republicans sow chaos,” said Viet Shelton, a spokesman for DCCC.

Republicans in the upper chamber are also deploying this playbook. Senate Republican hopeful David McCormick, running against Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in Pennsylvania, released a new ad on Sunday, featuring comments from the senator expressing confidence in Biden’s mental fitness, interspersed with clips from the debate last Thursday and criticism from cable commentators. 

“There’s no question he’s prepared to do this job today were he reelected,” Casey is shown saying from an interview in March of this year. 

The ad then continues showing Biden praising Casey on multiple occasions, calling him “one of his closest friends.” 

Immediately following the debate last week, the Republican State Leadership Committee put out a statement that said, “Every state Democrat running for office should be concerned with the current condition of their leader.” 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee also put out a video mashup of the Senate candidates responding to questions about Biden’s fitness on Friday intermixed with clips of Biden stumbling during the debate on X.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER 

“Senate Democrats have been telling Americans Joe Biden is still sharp. Jon Tester went as far to say Biden is ‘absolutely 100% with it.’ It is clear they were lying, and voters will remember that in November,” NRSC Communications Director Mike Berg said in a statement to the Washington Examiner last week.

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