The Republican response to President Joe Biden's recent speech on voting rights should have been much stronger — and much more timely. Biden's statements served to garner more votes for Democrats, damaged the GOP brand, and diminished future Republican electoral chances.
Moreover, the president's accusations about Republicans being racist divides the nation.
Republicans should have responded to Biden's speech after it ended or, at the very least, that afternoon. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., however, spoke about the speech on the following day. A prompt rebuttal was critical so that the evening newscasts, opinion shows, etc. would have discussed the Republican viewpoint.
Without a reubuttal from Republicans, news shows did not have a meaningful response from Republicans to report for almost 24 hours.
Ideally, the speech should have been in front of an audience rather than the Senate floor so that it would have had more energy.
Such a venue would have created a higher likelihood that news stations would carry it live.
The GOP response should have been as detailed as possible, and should have systematically refuted Biden's address point by point.
To give context to their arguments, Republicans could have played clips from Biden's speech before attacking them.
Even a PowerPoint chart with points of rebutting arguments would serve the nation well.
Republicans should have offered a complete refutation and followed the three-point strategy that I have previously discussed:
- Deny the accusation
- Explain the Republican position
- Describe how the Democrat position hurts the people that they claim to help
Because President Biden made such personal attacks against the Republicans, Republicans could have considered playing a montage of Biden's past statements regarding minorities.
Three reasons likely account for the Republicans' poor response.
Each of these rationales, however, are flawed.
First — Republicans may have assumed that voters knew that Biden's speech was full of untruths and hyperbole. Republicans should never assume, though. It is likely that many voters believed Biden's statements.
Second — Republicans may not have wanted to highlight Biden's speech. News networks, though, would have covered the speech no matter if the Republicans answered or not.
Third — Republicans may have thought that discussing Biden prevented them from raising their own ideas. Republicans could have both refuted Biden and discussed their agenda. With Republicans not refuting Biden's points, it is possible that individuals have ignored the Republicans' ideas because they have been focusing on Biden's criticisms of Republicans.
The GOP consistently lament that Democrats "play the race card" (i.e., call Republicans racist). The Democrats consistently play the race card for one simple reason: It works.
Republicans rarely respond to being called racist, and, if they do, the response is tepid.
As a result, Democrats are free to present an argument that goes largely unrefuted and likely persuades voters to vote against Republicans.
What readily comes to mind is a football analogy, one that is quite relevant:
If the defense can't stop the running back, the smart offense keeps calling running plays and giving the ball to the running back.
As a result, the "Republicans are racist" argument has become accepted by voters.
Even more disturbing, the Republicans in this argument are no longer limited to elected officials but extend to everyday Republicans as well.
In popular culture and day-to-day life, it seems that people consider Republicans to be racist. News anchors and commentators call Republicans racist and do so without repercussions.
Some Republicans even qualify their views as Republican so as not to appear racist.
When Biden attacked Republican elected officials, he also targeted those attack who support them. This argument is a vile thrashing of Americans and serves to divide the country. Republicans should have elected officials who defend their voters.
If the elected officials do not defend themselves, though, voters should not be surprised that the officials do not stand up for them. Republicans need to elect individuals who will respond to the Democrats' arguments and not reelect those who remain silent.
The only way to defeat Biden's argument about voter suppression is to refute it.
If the GOP does not counter and present the truth about the election bills, and Republicans in general, the country will suffer from this horrible and politically motivated falsehood.
Michael B. Abramson is a practicing attorney. He is also an adviser with the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. He is the host of the "Advancing the Agenda" podcast and the author of "A Playbook for Taking Back America: Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election." Follow him on his website and Twitter, @mbabramson. Read Michael B. Abramson's Reports — More Here.
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