Democrats in Congress are trying to go on offense on border security. They see the collapse of a bipartisan border deal as a rare opening to flip the script on immigration, even if they can’t fully overcome years of attacks claiming they’re weak on the issue.
In both chambers, Democrats are vowing to bring the charge to TV ads this fall. And party strategists are already shopping around polling, testing different messages on the issue. Democrats are also aggressively pitching local news outlets on Republicans’ about-face. Even the Biden administration has
already started needling Republicans on it.
The working message: Republicans are flip-flopping on an issue of national security, opposing their own painstakingly drafted solution because former President Donald Trump wants chaos at the border.
“If they think that we aren’t going to talk about their unbelievable hypocrisy, they’re wrong,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in an interview. “The minute Donald Trump came out and said that he wanted to preserve chaos at the border, they ran for the hills. That is a story that’s very easy for this country to understand.”
And it’s an attack Democrats plan to deploy across the entire GOP: Everyone from Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans to GOP candidates for House and Senate opposed the legislation.
House Majority PAC, Democrats’ top House super PAC, plans to “use the bill extensively in our ads against them this fall,” said spokesperson CJ Warnke. So will Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, spokesperson David Bergstein vowed: “It will be a major line of attack against their candidates. The ads write themselves.”
It’s a remarkable political reversal for Republicans, who have long clamored for border legislation and succeeded in getting Democrats to make big concessions in the curren