The National Journal’s Hotline’s Wake-Up Call
RACE FOR THE HOUSE: An internal email exchange revealed that the DCCC (Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee) is discouraging highlighting President Trump in campaign materials for fear of stoking the former president’s base. A press release, which was sent to reporters Thursday with the subject line: “SIX MONTH REVIEW: LIE, CHEAT, STEEL,” appeared to accidentally include an internal back-and-forth between the committee and a campaign staffer over wording and strategy.
In editing a draft press release sent by a staffer for former Rep. Harley Rouda’s (D) campaign, a DCCC researcher pushed back on a line invoking Rep. Michelle Steel’s (R-CA 48) vote against impeaching Trump. The DCCC staffer asked, “Do we think highlighting her vote not to impeach trump is helpful? In midterm with him out of WH, not sure how much we want to keep highlighting him and give the Trump base a reason to turnout.” Rouda’s campaign and the DCCC did not return requests for comment by deadline.
Rouda, who lost by 2 points in a district President Biden carried by a similar margin, is mounting a rematch with Steel. Another DCCC researcher in the email chain pushed back on calling Steel the “QAnon Congresswoman” in the release “because she hasn’t personally expressed support for QAnon” and offered “maybe another adjective like ‘divisive’ or ‘do-nothing.’” But, according to the campaign staffer, Rouda had requested that the campaign include the nickname. The nickname and the line about impeachment remained in the final draft reporters received Thursday afternoon. (Hotline reporting)