GOP memo urges 'rebrand' as 'the working class party' — by embracing 'Donald Trump’s gift'
Although former President Donald Trump has been gone from the White House for two months, his far-right brand of pseudo-populism — which was greatly influenced by Patrick Buchanan — continues to have a major effect on the GOP. And this week, according to Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, two House Republicans — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana — discussed a memo calling for the GOP to market itself as the "working class" party in the 2022 midterms.
The March 30 memo, written by Banks and addressed to McCarthy, is titled "Cementing GOP as the Working Class Party." And it argues that Republicans, in 2022, need to embrace Trump voters and Trump's ideas.
In the memo, Banks — who heads the Republican Study Committee — emphasizes, "Our electoral success in the 2022 midterm election will be determined by our willingness to embrace our new coalition. House Republicans can broaden our electorate, increase voter turnout, and take back the House by enthusiastically rebranding and reorienting as the Party of the Working Class…. There is an embittered and loud minority in the GOP that finds our new coalition distasteful, but President Trump's gift didn't come with a receipt."
This week in his New York Times column, liberal economist Paul Krugman stresses that the GOP's Trumpian pseudo-populism is a sham — that no matter how much Republicans claim to represent working-class Americans, their policies are designed for the sole benefit of the ultra-rich. But Krugman acknowledges that Republicans can be great at selling snake oil to their voters.
In the memo "Cementing GOP as the Working Class Party," Banks suggests that Republicans hold "working class roundtables" and create a "working families task force." And the Indiana congressman argues that if Corporate America rejects Republicans, they should use that to paint themselves as populists.
"Every Republican (House) member in a competitive district should know exactly how much corporate cash their opponent received in 2020, and they should relay those numbers to their constituents," Banks says in the memo. "The NRCC should arm members with that information and commission advertisements that contrast Republican challengers with corporate-backed Democrat incumbents."
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