POLITICS -- July 28, 2010 at 8:20 PM ET
Democratic Party Chief Aims to Equate Republican Party With Tea Party
Democrats Wednesday tried to paint Republicans and tea party supporters as members of the same political party, with a common goal: to move the country backward.
Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine, flanked by six congressional Democrats, ticked off a list, entitled "The Republican Tea Party Contract on America,"at a press conference at DNC headquarters in Washington.
A satirical take on the "Contract with America" Republicans used to help win control of the House of Representatives in 1994, the "Contract" lists ten agenda items Republicans would allegedly strive to do if they were to gain control of the Congress in the November midterm elections. As Chairman Kaine read the list aloud, a common theme quickly emerged, with seven of the ten points in the "Contract" beginning with the words "repeal," "end," or "abolish."
On the Republican-tea party agenda, as crafted by the Democrats, are such items as privatizing Social Security and "ending Medicare as it presently exists." The Democrats have also included more obscure items that a couple of candidates have proposed in the past, such as abolishing the Department of Education, and attempt to attach it to every Republican running for office this year.
"The Republicans can take a break and relax," Kaine joked, now that Democrats have provided them with a "handy blueprint" for the Fall. "The Republican agenda has become the tea party agenda and vice versa," he added.
It's still unclear to what extent Republicans will embrace the tea party this campaign season, though the party is eager to harness all of that enthusiasm and energy on the right and translate it into votes on Nov. 2.
Although some high-ranking Republicans signed on when Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., launched a tea party caucus on Capitol Hill last week, support from others party leaders was notably absent.
Republican National Committee spokesman Doug Heye was skeptical of Wednesday's strategy. "This is the third time this year Democrats have unveiled their strategy. Clearly, they are searching for some kind of a message because they can not communicate with voters on how the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda has done anything that it promised to do, such as creating jobs or putting America back on the right track," Heye told the Rundown.