Hillary Clinton’s campaign rained on Fox News’ parade by pointing out that there isn’t much difference between the ten Republicans who will debate each other on Thursday in Cleveland.
In a memo, chief Clinton strategist and pollster Joel Benenson wrote:
The focus of tomorrow night’s GOP debate will be squarely on Donald Trump, who is now leading in every major national poll. The rest of the Republican field will no doubt desperately compete to differentiate from Trump in style, but the truth is, they don’t differ on the substance.
No matter how they try to modulate their voices, every single Republican candidate holds positions that are overwhelmingly minority viewpoints in America. They are out of step with the kind of country Americans want for themselves and their children.
They’d like to have us believe that they are different from Trump. But in reality, they are all cut from the same cloth, aligning themselves with views and policies that are out of date and out of touch, showing us first hand why the Republican brand is in such bad shape.
The Clinton campaign pointed out that the Republican Party has a net (-16) approval rating, and that the party’s unfavorable rating is twelve points higher (50%) than its favorability rating (38%). Donald Trump is tied with establishment favorite Jeb Bush with a 26% favorability rating, and Trump is ahead of Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, who are both at less than 30%. What is driving their negative ratings are unpopular positions on the economy, women’s health, immigration, and LGBT Americans.
The Republican candidates are all the same on these issues. Ten of them will step on to the stage tomorrow night in Cleveland, and they will hold the same positions as their opponents. The Republican Party continues to believe that the problem is the messenger when the real issue continues to be the message.
Republicans will try to out-conservative each other, but the reality is that Donald Trump is not the extreme of the Republican Party. He is the baseline. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio won’t admit it, but they have a great deal in common with Trump, and it is the commonality of agenda that will sink the Republican Party in 2016.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association