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Monday, September 23, 2013

Media, Oppo, and Cruz

Many posts have discussed opposition research.  Campaigns routinely provide news media with negative information about their opponents.  But politicians use oppo outside the campaign season as well, plying reporters with material about colleagues and rivals that they want to take down.  Such tactics even take place within the parties, as this Fox News exchange reveals:

CHRIS WALLACE: Karl, this has been one of the strangest weeks I've ever had in Washington. And I say that, because as soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats, but from top Republicans who -- to hammer Cruz. Why are Republicans so angry at Ted Cruz?

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Well, because this was a strategy laid out by Mike Lee and Ted Cruz without any consultation by -- with their colleagues. Mike Lee of Utah lays it out on July 9th without having ever brought it up at the Thursday meeting and the senators to say we've got an idea. I would suspect today, with all due respect to Mike, junior Senator from Texas, I suspect this is the first time that the endgame was described to any Republican senator. They had to tune in to listen to you to find out what Ted's next step was in the strategy. And look, you cannot build a congressional majority in either party for any kind of action, unless you're treating your colleagues with some or certain amount of respect and saying, hey, what do you think of my idea, and instead, they have dictated to their colleagues through the media, and through public statements, and not consulted them about this strategy at all.
I do want to (inaudible) one small thing that Senator Cruz said. He said, Republicans enjoy an advantage on health care in "The Wall Street Journal" poll this week. I wish it were true. The advantage in "The Wall Street Journal" poll was Americans favorite Democrats, trust Democrats more on health care, 37 to 29. Now, the bad news for the Democrats is, this is a historic low number for them. But Republicans don't have an advantage on it, at the time of the 19 -- the 2010 elections it was 42-32, so they had a ten point advantage now, they are -- they've got an eight point advantage.