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Biden Plans to Run against the Freedom Caucus

It was probably inevitable, but it is now increasingly clear that Joe Biden will make the House Freedom Caucus the face of the Republican Party and a primary foil is his reelection campaign. It's pretty easy to make an ad that says: "The Republicans want to split the country in half" and then show a clip of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) saying precisely that. Clips of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) saying outrageous things aren't hard to find. In short, Biden's oppo team is going to be as active as Trump's. And it has the advantage that the FC has some 40+ members, so Team Joe can pick and choose among the clips of all of them saying outlandish things.

Last week, this approach was on display when Biden noted that the Republicans want to cut all nondefense spending by 25%. He said: "Twenty-five percent across the board. That means cops, firefighters, it means health care—that's just what they call discretionary spending." Of course not all Republicans are calling for a 25% cut, but enough of the FC members have been recorded saying that such that there is plenty of footage available. Also, because there are over three dozen FC members, Biden's ads can show three or four of five Republicans saying the same thing, giving the impression that it is the entire party.

One plus for Biden is that many people who don't follow politics closely don't know anything about the Freedom Caucus. So when Biden's ads show three of them saying something on taxes and a different three saying something on abortion and yet a different three mouthing off about immigration or vaccines, it can easily give the impression that the entire Republican Party is on board with the FC.

Biden is also going to push the point that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had to capitulate to the most extreme House members to get elected speaker and is completely beholden to them. Clips of the 15-ballot vote-a-thon in January can make that point visually. While Biden is not going to run ads that are really out of bounds, as Trump is going to in the primaries, he is also not going to run an entirely positive campaign. There will be many attack ads as well, especially starring FC members. (V)

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