Strategy memos obtained by Rolling Stone from a "variety of conservative candidates and organizations" urge changing the topic and letting the news cycle change following the latest string of mass shootings in America.
"Stay cool. Run out the clock. Scare some gun nuts while you can. But don’t worry: this moment will be over soon," is how the magazine summarized the guidance.
A memo for a top GOP Senate candidate urged them to "ignore guns, talk inflation."
"Other documents predictably decried liberal desires for 'gun-grabbing' and 'gun confiscation,' and made whataboutism-type references to gun violence in Chicago," the magazine reported.
The memos come as the National Rifle Association has not been leading the charge as it did following the Newtown school shooting massacre.
The Republican National Committee has also been taking a backseat in messaging guidance sent three days after the Uvalde mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
"The email began with some pro-forma thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families, then went on to “thank…the members of law enforcement who responded to the scene and killed the shooter.” (That’s despite the fact that 19 such cops inside the school waited and waited while students begged for help — and the gunman continued to fire.) But the bulk of the memo, part of the series of RNC “Pundit Prep” that typically lists the party’s weekly political priorities, had a conspicuous omission. It did not include any actual talking points about the latest school massacre in the U.S. — a mass shooting that dominated American media and political conversation, only to be bookended by news of other mass murders carried out with firearms," the magazine reported.
GOP operative and former Trump aide Steven Chung shared the advice he was giving to his 2022 House and Senate candidates.
“My advice to any Republican candidate would be to not let the moment dictate any political action that may have unintended consequences that leads to widespread gun confiscation,” he said. “Defend the Second Amendment because that’s where the base is, but offer tangible solutions like hardening of schools and more funding for mental health.”
Another consultant told the magazine his advice was for Republicans to "just wait this out."
"The media will start chasing something else soon, and [Republicans] should stick to talking about the issues that affect voters’ lives most … and I’m sorry to say, guns aren’t topping the list," the consultant said.
Read the full report.