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The White House isn’t worried about raising GOP goals as 2024 speculation swirls

The White House isn’t worried about raising GOP goals as 2024 speculation swirls

The White House has no qualms about naming and shaming Republican lawmakers it condemns as MAGA Republicans.

But the combative strategy, which is being deployed before President Joe Biden is expected to announce his 2024 re-election campaign after his State of the Union address next month, is a double-edged sword, already which inadvertently elevates his opponents and those of the Democratic Party.

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The White House was initially reluctant to name individual GOP members who Biden and his aides consider to be MAGA Republicans. That is, until the president delivered a prime-time speech in Philadelphia last September in which he recommitted to denouncing “extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” Administration officials deny this is a new approach, but from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), they have been more proactive in midterm elections in criticize hardline conservatives.

This week, for example, as the country edged closer to its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, the White House seized on a tweet from Biggs, a central figure in the Republican presidential race in the Chamber In the missive, which the administration likened to “unprecedented economic vandalism,” Biggs reiterated his opposition to raising the debt ceiling, a position embedded in the deal that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R -CA), managed with resistance to lead the chamber.

But instead of being intimidated, Biggs has welcomed the scrutiny. “MAGA policies” under former President Donald Trump “created the most secure border, a robust economy and a good quality of life for all Americans,” according to Biggs spokesman Matthew Tragesser.

“If the White House calls Congressman Biggs a MAGA, ultra-MAGA or mega-MAGA Republican, he proudly accepts those titles,” Tragesser told the Washington Examiner. “The Biden administration should adopt MAGA policies to steer our country in a better direction.”

A senior GOP official added: “Instead of seeking compromise with Republicans, the Biden White House is more enamored of dividing people, creating straw men and wasting taxpayer dollars.”

Another Republican strategist, Alex Conant, described the White House as “full campaign mode,” portraying the GOP “in the most unflattering light possible” until there is a presidential nominee in 2024.

“That means highlighting Republicans with limited appeal to independents and swing voters,” he said.

But “raising your staunchest opponents clearly makes it more difficult to forge bipartisan deals,” Conant said, as the Treasury Department introduced “extraordinary measures” this week to continue paying the nation’s debts and avoid a default until about summer

The White House doesn’t worry about potential unintended consequences. Instead, administration officials say Biden and his aides have a “duty” to emphasize that “this is not what we stand for” and, in Biggs’ case, to make sure the public understands the “economic self-immolation” that comes with non-compliance. This includes the ramifications it would have on the Social Security and Medicare programs for widespread unemployment and the devaluation of 401(k) retirement savings accounts.

“That’s just about the least popular message you can take to the country,” one administration official said. “If we make an example of you and say what this is, that’s one of the most effective warnings we can send to other Republicans.”

One Democratic strategist likened Bigg’s stance to saying, “Here’s a vomit-and-shit sandwich. Pay money for it.”

With the White House appearing to soften its “no strings attached” debt ceiling stance on Friday, while Biden and McCarthy expressed openness to a meeting, the administration may come to regret its more assertive stance. At the same time, the White House decided not to use Trump’s statement encouraging Republicans to “not cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security” to their advantage and pressure Republican lawmakers not to push through entitlement reform. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain later did. tweet: “How extreme is the House GOP plan to cut Social Security and Medicare? So extreme that even Donald Trump is saying, ‘Hey, that’s too extreme for me!'”

How deep is the House GOP plan to cut Social Security and Medicare?

So extreme that even Donald Trump says, “Hey, that’s too extreme for me!”

— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) January 20, 2023

The White House’s tone coincides with the Democratic National Committee similarly preparing for an unwieldy field of 2024 Republican presidential candidates, including Trump.

“Let’s compare records: While President Biden and the Democrats used their first two years to deliver for working families, Trump and the Republicans used their time in 2017 and 2018 to pass tax cuts for northerners -Americans and the richest big corporations, caving in to Big Pharma and doing nothing to lower prescription drug costs, failing to deliver on promises like passing infrastructure legislation and trying to gut health care from millions of Americans,” the DNC wrote.

Former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley has already teased the possibility of a presidential run, asking Fox News host Bret Baier this week, “If I’m so passionate and I’m so determined, why don’t I?”


Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also set to embark on a book tour next week to promote his memoir of the Trump administration, which includes an investigation into Haley for allegedly conspiring with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to become vice president while she was Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations.

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