Mike Donilon, a senior adviser to the president, said in a White House memo on Tuesday that an “obstructionist” stance taken by the GOP toward President Joe Biden’s plan for COVID-19 relief would not likely be favorable for the party and would likely only contribute to further damaging the GOP’s already shrinking national support.
“There seems to be a growing conventional wisdom that it is either politically smart – or, at worst, cost-free – for the GOP to adopt an obstructionist, partisan, base-politics posture,” Donilon wrote in a memo obtained by Axios. “However, there is lots of evidence that the opposite is true: that it isn’t politically smart for the GOP to be going down this road. And rather than being cost-free, this approach has been quite damaging to them.”
The memo appeared to be aimed at boosting GOP support for Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, which he touted during a CNN town hall in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) was just one of a number of Republicans who have blasted Biden’s relief plan and argued that the package Congress passed in December was “way more than we needed and more than enough.”
“By opposing the American Rescue Plan, the GOP is putting itself at odds with a rescue package supported overwhelmingly by the American people,” Donilon added, citing figures from recent polls from Quinnipac, Navigator and others.
The memo also pointed to a recent Morning Consult poll that showed less than a quarter of the country thinks the Republican Party is heading in the right direction – with 63% saying the party is on the wrong track.
Donilon’s memo also pointed at low favorability ratings for minority leaders in both chambers of Congress — Rep. Kevin McCarthy at just 21 percent and Mitch McConnell at a meager 19 percent.
The troubling figures come as the party — still characterized largely by a sea of Trump loyalists — seeks to unify in the aftermath of the Capitol riot last month that many Republican lawmakers played a role in provoking.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Tuesday that the party had no chance of winning back its majority without Trump’s help.
Donilon said that the Morning Consult poll’s findings, when coupled with a report from The New York Times that suggested voters have been dropping their GOP registration all across the country, along with favorability ratings from Gallup and others, “you see a party shrinking its appeal in this country – not growing it.”
“Voters are hurting – and they’re looking for leadership that comes forward with plans and solutions. This is not a moment in the country when obstructionism will be rewarded.”