- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
GOP pulls evenin PR battle over nominees
Key Republicans said yesterday that although Democrats did a better job in the early fight over President Bush’s judicial nominees, the GOP has achieved “parity” in the public relations battle.
“We were a little slower on the draw,” said a Republican strategist close to the effort. “But we’re there now — at parity with them in terms of mobilization and intensity and breadth and depth of coalition effort.”
The strategist said Democrats went into battle mode over judges the day after Mr. Bush was re-elected in November. Republicans did not catch up until about two weeks ago.
“It took conservatives and Republicans a little while to understand that we were going to have to do the same thing in order to get our message out,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In recent weeks, the Republican strategy for ending Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees has grown into a multifaceted public relations offensive by the White House, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and outside advocacy groups.
“It has all the tactical elements of a campaign,” said Stuart Roy, a consultant with Progress for America, an advocacy group running TV ads in support of the nominees.
Seeking to counter a similarly aggressive Democratic campaign to preserve the filibuster, Republicans are writing op-ed columns, booking Bush surrogates on cable news channels and deluging reporters with e-mails.
“We’ve been mobilizing our grass roots on this issue,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman. “This is an incredibly important priority.”
The escalation in rhetoric is partly a response to intense pressure from rank-and-file conservatives who want Senate Republicans to insist on up-or-down votes on judicial nominees. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson yesterday railed against “waffling Republican” senators in a Boston Globe op-ed.
Meanwhile, the Union-Leader newspaper in Manchester, N.H., ran a front-page editorial urging Republicans to “wise up and have the guts to stop the Democrats’ current misuse of the filibuster.”
The conservative paper added: “We are quite sure the presidential primary voters of New Hampshire will be watching carefully to see how Republican senators act on this crucial matter.”
It was a veiled warning to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who is expected to run for president in 2008. The Tennessee Republican is mulling a change in Senate rules that would block Democrats from filibustering judicial nominees.
To prepare the public for such a move, Mr. Frist has been working closely with the White House, the RNC and outside advocacy groups. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, a political consultant, is playing a leading role in coordinating the various roles of each group.
For example, advocacy groups are in charge of running TV ads. Organizations like Progress for America are not prohibited from coordinating with the White House or RNC, because the campaign is not aimed at electing anyone.
In recent days, the administration has assumed an increasingly vocal role, with Mr. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales speaking out on behalf of the nominees.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Eric Cantor rejects latest Obama immigration outreach
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.