According to a report from the Washington Post, Republicans who are taking to airwaves to launch broadsides against President Joe Biden are growing increasingly frustrated with the hosts of conservative media outlets who prefer to talk about cultural issues that enrage their rabidly right-wing viewers.
With the GOP eyeing the midterm elections in 2022 with a chance to reclaim the House from Democratic control, Republican lawmakers are making appearances on cable and online conservative news programs to attack Biden's handling on the economy and plans to spend taxpayers' dollars.
Instead, conservative media personalities prefer to talk about red-meat cultural issues like critical race theory that has little to do with Biden's economic policies.
Case in point, a recent appearance by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Newsmax.
"[Cramer] started off talking about the cancellation of a domestic oil pipeline, the job losses and higher gas prices, key kitchen-table items that Republicans believe will be critical to winning back the majority next year," the WaPo's Paul Kane wrote. "But after two minutes, Cramer's hosts on Newsmax pivoted to a brief discussion of the Pentagon's budget and then a long session about whether Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had allowed 'wokeness' to creep into the military's training programs."
According to Kane, "That eight-minute appearance encapsulated much of the GOP's struggle to define President Biden's agenda. According to Republican thinking, Biden and his congressional allies are pushing an unnecessarily big-spending slate of legislation that is risking the first major bout of inflation in more than four decades. But these Republicans, particularly those in the Senate, have not been able to break through to much of America with that particular note, unable to place much political pressure on Democrats who are wavering on these proposals."
The report notes that Republicans have been attempting to "beat the drum" about Biden's economic policies but aren't getting much help from their allies in the conservative press.
According to Republican Cramer, "Have we not been able to break through on the message in the broader way? No, we haven't."
Kane adds, "Republicans acknowledge that some events drive a message to base voters already inclined to be in their corner, as demonstrated by Thursday's news conference about increased concerns that the coronavirus may have emanated from a Chinese lab leak. So far they are having less impact than their GOP predecessors did 12 years ago as the Obama administration came to power amid the Wall Street crash. That 2009 stimulus proposal, worth nearly $800 billion, was viewed favorably by voters initially, but much less so than Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan."
The report adds that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ran into a similar problem on Fox News this past week, when he attempted to talk about proposed GOP policies and the hosts of a Fox News program wanted his opinion on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and some of her tweets.
"The GOP leader chuckled and tried to move on, referring to the liberal icon who Fox viewers love to hate only as 'that particular member of Congress,'" the report states.
You can read more here.