A memo sent out in April 2015 outlined a strategy to boost "Pied Piper" Republican candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson in an effort to force the whole slate of presidential hopefuls to "lock themselves into extreme conservative positions," an email hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, reveals.
"Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate," the email, posted by WikiLeaks, which provided a link to the email on Twitter, shows.
The email was sent to Podesta and others involved in the Clinton campaign from the account of firstname.lastname@example.org a possible reference to Marissa Astor, listed on Clinton's campaign outline as a member of her surrogates team, in advance of an upcoming strategy meeting.
The email does not say who wrote the attached memo, which states that most of what was contained in it is "work the DNC is already doing."
The campaign, in the memo, outlines three strategies:
- Force all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election;
- Undermine any credibility/trust Republican presidential candidates have to make inroads to our coalition or independents;
- Muddy the waters on any potential attack lodged against HRC.
Doing that calls for "operationalizing" the "Pied Piper" candidates, and rather than marginalize them, make them appear to be candidates who "represent the mainstream of the Republican Party."
The candidates included, but were not limited to Trump, Cruz, and Carson, the memo said.
"We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously," the memo said.
The strategy also outlined strategies on other candidates to undermine their credibility among "our coalition," described as "communities of color, millennials, women" and independent voters.
"The goal here would be to show that they are just the same as every other GOP candidate: extremely conservative on these issues," said the memo.
For example, the memo called to launch attacks on:
- Jeb Bush - What to undermine: the notion he is a "moderate" or concerned about regular Americans; perceived inroads with the Latino population;
- Marco Rubio - What to undermine: the idea he has "fresh" ideas; his perceived appeal to Latinos;
- Scott Walker - What to undermine: the idea he can rally working- and middle class Americans;
- Rand Paul - What to undermine: the idea he is a "different" kind of Republican; his stance on the military and his appeal to millennials and communities of color;
- Bobby Jindal - What to undermine: his "new" ideas;
- Chris Christie - What to undermine: he tells it like it is.
The memo also called for a "dossier on the GOP candidates" concerning the likely attacks Clinton could face, including on transparency and disclosure, her donors and associations, and her management and business dealings.
"In this regard, any information on scandals or ethical lapses on the GOP candidates would serve well," the memo concludes. "We won't be picky."
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