Internal Democrat Memo: Blame Trump, but Health Care, Wages More Popular than Impeachment

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) (C) speaks during a press conference with other Mayor's and House of Representative members calling on US President Donald Trump and Congress to end the shutdown in Washington, DC on January 24, 2019. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) distributed guidance on impeachment talking points in an internal memo obtained by Axios that tells Democrats to stick to describing President Donald Trump as a lawbreaker but warned that voters care more about jobs and health care than impeachment.

The memo states that there is only a “slightly favorable 49-48” polling on impeachment.

“Their vulnerable members this cycle are the ones who helped the party win the House in 2018 because they were in districts that flipped from Republican or that Trump won in 2016,” Axios reported.

The internal memo aims to make sure Democrats are on the same page on what’s behind their effort to impeach Trump, including a false narrative about the call between the president and his Ukrainian counterpart.

“This comes from research conducted by the DCCC’s (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) pollsters over the past weeks,” Bustos said in the cover letter accompanying the memo. “It reaffirms the strong position Democrats hold on this view, due to the focus and restraint with which our Caucus has approached this pressing and serious matter.”

According to “message guidance” in the memo:

1. When discussing Trump’s actions, keep the language simple, direct and values-based: President Trump abused his power and put himself above the law when he asked the Ukrainian president to interfere in the U.S. election.

2. Emphasize the core value that no one is above the law. Incumbent members who support the inquiry are simply working to uphold the rule of law and Republicans who oppose the inquiry are failing to fulfill their oath of office.

3. The whistleblower did the right thing by coming forward – members of Congress have the duty to protect this person, and Trump is wrong to threaten this person and impugn their character or motives.

4. Demonstrate your constant focus on the biggest issues facing families in the country specifically health care and wage. These issues continue to outrank impeachment as priorities for voters, especially swing voter. By focusing on these and local issues you can show voters the you know how to focus on their top priorities, while also navigating the impeachment inquiry. [Emphasis included]

The memo also includes DCCC polling data that shows Democrats feel more convinced of their impeachment narrative than Republicans — Trump is a criminal for the former and Democrats want to undo the 2016 election results they still can’t accept for the latter.

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