Republicans blew their big chance to deal a legislative blow to Biden: GOP strategist
Kevin McCarthy holding a Dr. Seuss book. (Screenshot/Instagram)

The Democrats' COVID-19 pandemic rescue bill is still overwhelmingly popular among American voters, and Republican strategists are just now realizing they blew an opportunity to turn public opinion against the bill by obsessing over culture war issues during its passage.

In interviews with Politico, Republicans admitted they took their eyes off the ball during the COVID relief debate and failed to poison public opinion against a bill that passed only with Democratic support.

GOP strategist Doug Heye pointed to Republican voters' obsession with culture war issues, such as the controversy over the discontinued publication of certain Dr. Seuss books that contained racist imagery, as the main reason the party failed to effectively attack the bill.

"Whenever there is something that goes into pop culture and now all this cancel culture stuff, it is catnip for the base and the media and Republicans are going to talk about that," he said.

Typically, Republicans would have had no problems attacking Democrats for blowing a hole in the national budget with a $1.9 trillion relief package -- but GOP strategist Brendan Steinhauser said the party lost all credibility to complain about deficits during the Trump era.

"Republicans lost credibility on that issue during the Trump years, especially the first couple years when we had the power to do something about it," he said. "There was no interest in doing anything about it. It was just, 'let's not even talk about spending or the debt or deficit or anything like that.'"