Democratic Governors Fear Party Is Losing Messaging War By Focusing On Trump And Russia

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the press during an Oval Office meeting.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before House Intelligence and Judiciary committees earlier this week eclipsed not only the Capitol, but the entire nation, with media focusing its attention on the latest chapter in the Trump-Russia saga.

Instead of being a culmination of Mueller’s far-reaching probe and a deadly political blow to Trump, the testimony was a dud, at least according to some House Democrats. Congressional staffers and some Democratic lawmakers anonymously told The Washington Post that they regret summoning Mueller, pointing out that the former FBI director had appeared cognitively impaired during the hearing.

Mueller failed to remember important details from his own biography, appeared unfamiliar with his report, and had a difficult time answering questions from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. The GOP and Trump’s allies in the media used the opportunity to advance their own agenda, alleging that Mueller’s testimony demonstrates that the Russia investigation was launched only to impede the Trump presidency.

The president has also kept busy. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump has been launching vicious tweet storms, attacking Democratic representatives, insulting and ridiculing the Democratic Party, live-tweeting Fox News coverage, and discrediting Mueller and his investigation. The two parties are going back and forth, with the Democrats on the defensive, responding to Trump’s remarks and condemning them as racist.

But who is winning the messaging war? According to Democrats outside the beltway, it’s the GOP.

A new report from Politico reveals that some Democratic governors are growing increasingly concerned that the party is losing the messaging war by focusing on Trump-Russia, and other scandals that the president produces.

According to them, the party needs to go back to talking about more consequential issues — issues such as healthcare, which helped the Democrats win back the House of Representatives — in order to avoid paving the way to Trump’s re-election.

According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Mueller hearing and Trump’s attacks on House Democrats have “been the zeitgeist, and so Trump being the master of deflection and distraction,” and “it’s been hard for the Democrats to sort of hold that message.”

“We should be focused on what Americans care about and what Oregonians, for me, care about, right?” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said, arguing that talks of impeachment are counterproductive.

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“We saw in 2018 that when we talked about health care, we won, and we won handily. I mean, we kicked their butts,” she said, urging the party to shift its focus to jobs, healthcare, and education.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer echoed the sentiment expressed by her colleagues, stating that “strength is on the dinner-table issues,” and arguing that D.C. Democrats tend to “get distracted by the tweet of the day.”

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, an early proponent of impeachment, said that such an aggressive maneuver would not accomplish much at this time.

“It’s a question of timing: How long would that take, how effective would that be?” he asked.