Now that Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have officially launched their presidential campaigns, the Democratic Party is gearing up its propaganda machine to attack the Republican contenders. But some Facebook images posted this week have many scratching their heads, wondering why the Democrats would use what seem to be Republican talking points in their messages.
On Tuesday, the Democrats posted three images on their Facebook page — one each with Cruz, Paul, and Rubio — asking supporters to visit their website and “Say you’re ready to stop Republicans in 2016.”
However, the slogans on the three images are raising eyebrows. Cruz’s says he wants to “repeal every word of Obamacare,” Paul’s advocates shutting down the Department of Education, and Rubio’s opposes raising the minimum wage.
Several Facebook users commented that they originally thought they were looking at Republican ads at first glance. Even several comments on the Democrats’ Facebook page indicated confusion.
A few days prior to these posts, the Democrats had posted several other images, parodies based on the HBO show Game of Thrones, assigning slogans to several of the presumed Republican candidates. Far from hard hitting, the one for Rubio references the moment when he took a sip of water during his response to the President’s State of the Union speech, and the one for former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has an image of his glasses and the text, “Uh…oops,” after his debate fumble.
The ones for Cruz and Paul again contain what seem to be Republican talking points. Cruz’s says “shut it down,” referencing the government shutdown that followed his 2013 filibuster — an event that made him even more of a hero to tea party conservatives. Paul’s has a parody of his logo, holding his finger up to his lips, “Shhhh.” This is most likely a reference to the Senator’s passionate advocacy against government intrusions into our privacy — an issue that makes Paul appealing to both libertarian conservatives and young voters across the political spectrum.
If the Democrats continue with this type of messaging strategy, they may need to start declaring their Facebook posts as in-kind donations to the Republican Party. [Disclaimer: The author is not intending to give legal advice to the Democratic Party.]
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.