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DSCC FRIDAY TAKEAWAYS: GOP “LOST THE MESSAGING BATTLE” ON TAX SCAM–GOP HEALTH CARE SABOTAGE COMES BACK TO BITE–INDIANA DEMOCRATS “BLAST BRAUN OVER HEALTH CARE.”

GOP “LOST THE MESSAGING BATTLE” ON TAX SCAM. For months, Republicans have tried to convince hard working Americans that their tax plan would give workers a “big raise” while in reality, the plan has been padding the pockets of big corporations and wealthy special interests while working Americans have nothing to show for it.

Bloomberg reports that internal Republican polls have “led the party to a glum conclusion” that Americans believe their grand tax plan, “helps the wealthy instead of average Americans:”

  • By a 2-to-1 margin — 61 percent to 30 percent — respondents said the law benefits “large corporations and rich Americans” over “middle class families,” according to the survey, which was completed on Sept. 2 by the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies and obtained by Bloomberg News.
  • “Voters are evenly divided on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the RNC-commissioned report said. “But, we’ve lost the messaging battle on the issue.”

But their tax scam isn’t the only fight they’re losing….

GOP HEALTH CARE SABOTAGE COMES BACK TO BITE. While Democrats continue to slam Republicans on the ground and on the air for their relentless efforts to sabotage health care, reports show that their attempts to cover up their records aren’t working.

USA Today’s Andy Slavitt released a scorching column headlined “Republicans hoped voters would forget they tried to kill Obamacare. They thought wrong,” which nailed Republicans who “pushed so hard for ACA repeal in the odd-numbered years” but “are suddenly “embracing” these protections in 2018” now that the protections are extremely popular.

Politico highlighted that Republican attempts to “duck and cover” are failing and that they’re “struggling to convince voters they will protect people with pre-existing conditions.”

The New York Times highlighted that “even Democrats running in red states are unapologetically putting health care at the center of their campaign messages” as “Republican efforts to overhaul the health care system” become increasingly unpopular.

In the worst news this week for Republicans, a Washington Post headline asserted that “In Senate Battle, Democrats’ focus on health care is giving them an edge.”

INDIANA DEMOCRATS “BLAST BRAUN OVER HEALTH CARE.” The Terre Haute Tribune-Star reported that Hoosiers held Rep. Mike Braun accountable for his toxic health care agenda this week. The Indiana Democratic Party chairman said “Braun has supported every major effort to destroy health care protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

VUKMIR DEFENDS VOTES AGAINST EXPANDING HEALTH CARE COVERAGE. Last week, Leah Vukmir defended standing with insurance companies to oppose making insurers cover Wisconsinites’ oral chemotherapy. This week, she doubled down on her vote against making insurance companies cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for hearing-impaired kids.

Meanwhile, she’s continuing to take heat over her support for multiple efforts to gut protections for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, while Tammy Baldwin makes it clear that health care is on the ballot this November in Wisconsin.

HELLER’S FLIP FLOPS MAKE HEADLINES. Senator Dean Heller has been called spineless for his willingness to say and do anything to get ahead, even at the expense of Nevadans:

The New York Times outlined the pressure Heller is under from his party to fix his weak campaign, he has flipped from being in the “99 percent against Trump” to keeping his arms “wide open” to him.

According to CNBC, Trump even bragged about his influence over Heller saying he “nudged him to support” health care repeal by saying “He wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?” And Heller flipped to support “a different Republican proposal to roll back large parts of the health care law, which failed on the Senate floor by only one vote.”

As if that wasn’t enough bad press…

HELLER’S HARMFUL “HICCUP” COMMENT. Heller also earned backlash for his quip that the recent allegations against Judge Kavanaugh are a “hiccup:”

The Washington Post called the comment “tone-deaf” and a blistering editorial from the Las Vegas Sun grilled him for it and asserted that rather than standing idly by “all smiles, as camera lights flash,” he “owes it to Nevadans to show them where he’s truly positioned on women’s issues.”

See more:

NBC News: Sen. Dean Heller defends calling Kavanaugh controversy a ‘hiccup’

USA Today: Report: Vulnerable GOP Sen. Heller said Kavanaugh will be confirmed despite ‘hiccup’

SCOTT’S RED TIDE BACKLASH CONTINUES. Scott’s troubled bus tour slammed to a halt this week as Floridians turned out in droves at his campaign stops to him for causing the Red Tide crisis and using his office to enrich himself while cutting critical programs at their expense. See the protests for yourself:

Talking Points Memo chimed in to cover the protests saying that “overlapping, persistent environmental crises plaguing the Sunshine State’s heavily-populated coasts are becoming a liability” for Scott:

  • “Environmentalists, Florida Democrats and several local newspaper editorial boards have pointed to the algae problems as another mark on what the Ocala Star-Banner called Scott’s “putrid environmental record.” During his first term in 2011, Scott cut $700 million in funding from Florida’s water management oversight. He is seen as an ally to Big Sugar, one of the state’s largest polluters. In his push to jumpstart Florida’s economy, Scott has drastically rolled back environmental regulations including required septic-tank inspections.”

COOK POLITICAL REPORT RATINGS CHANGES. As Beto O’Rourke continues to barnstorm Texas, the Cook Political Report has moved the race from “Lean Rep” to “Toss Up” and as Joe Manchin hits every corner of West Virginia the rating for that race moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Dem.”

MUST READ FACT CHECKS OF THE WEEK:

  • POLITIFACT: GOP CLAIM THAT BREDESEN SUPPORTS SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH PLAN “MOSTLY FALSE.” Politifact found that the McConnell Backed Senate Leadership Fund falsely claimed that Phil Bredesen supports single payer health plans.
  • AP FACT CHECK: GOP AD MISLEADS ON MCCASKILL IMMIGRATION VOTE. The Associated Pressfound that a Republican ad falsely claimed that “Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri shifted her stance on immigration policy and supported a reprieve for 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.”
  • HAWLEY’S HEALTH CARE CLAIMS EARN A “MOSTLY FALSE.” Josh Hawley claimed that “millions of Americans have lost their health care plans” due to Senator McCaskill’s support of the Affordable Care act and Politifact determined that his claim was “Mostly False.”
  • WASHINGTON POST GIVES CRAMER LIE ON PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS THREE PINOCCHIOS. Congressman Kevin Cramer wants to rewrite his record and claimed he voted for a bill with “safeguards that prevented price discrimination as a result of pre existing conditions.” According to the Washington Post Fact Checkers, that lie earned Cramer “Three Pinocchios.”
  • POLITIFACT: BREDESEN CLAIM THAT MARSHA BLACKBURN WEAKENED DEA OPIOID ENFORCEMENT “MOSTLY TRUE.” PolitiFact determined that Phil Bredesen was correct in holding Marsha Blackburn accountable for supporting a bill to “trim the power of the Drug Enforcement Agency to sanction negligent drug distributors.”
  • FACT CHECK CONFIRMS ATTACK ON HEITKAMP “DISTORTS THE FACTS.” The Senate Leadership Fund was dinged by Fact Check.org for using an attack ad to stretch “some facts to paint the incumbent North Dakota senator as a ‘rubber stamp’ for the ‘Washington liberal agenda.’”

DEM AD WATCH.

The DSCC hits Heller for his flip-flop on health care at the expense of Nevadans in new ad, “I Was At The Town Hall.”

The DSCC released its first ad in Arizona’s Senate race, “Arizonans Say.

VA-Tim Kaine’s new ad, “At Risk,” slams Corey Stewart for supporting the GOP’s toxic health care agenda.

WI- In “Both Sides,” Tammy Baldwin hits Leah Vukmir for supporting proposals to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions coverage.

IN THE STATES.

FL-WLRN:  Sen. Bill Nelson Discusses Puerto Rico Recovery One Year After Hurricane Maria

MI-Michigan Live: $16M awarded to expand mental health services in Michigan communities

MT-Missoula Current: VIDEO: Tester lauds Missoula airport project as sign of region’s economic growth

WV-Metro News: Manchin attends roundtable meeting on opioids in Martinsburg

TWEET OF THE WEEK

 

Lauren Passalacqua

@laurenvpass

Ben Ray

@BenRay

David Bergstein

@DavidABergstein

Jordun Lawrence

@_Jordun

Samantha Paisley

@SamPaisley63

 

 

 

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DSCC QUICK TAKES: DEMOCRATS HAVE AN EDGE, REPUBLICANS ‘DUCK AND COVER’ ON PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS -- ROVE GETS IT WRONG ON HEALTH CARE


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