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Democrats seek to counter Republicans' Iowa blitz

August 08, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
(DNC )

Iowa will be ground zero for Republican politicking this week ahead of the Ames straw poll this weekend, the latest milepost in the developing presidential nominating race. But as the GOP hopefuls log valuable face time with voters in the early-voting state, Democrats won't be far behind attempting to define the party's candidates as extreme in what is also a likely general election battleground.

Local and national Democrats revealed Monday their efforts to counterprogram the high-profile GOP festivities, which will be grounded in the argument that the party's "extreme aims" (pun intended) will do harm to the middle class and seniors.

The Democratic National Committee produced a Web video saying the candidates running for the White House are, just like their counterparts in Congress, "offering no new ideas."

"Just like Washington Republicans and the tea party, Republican presidential candidates want to end Medicare as we know it, slash funding for education and job creation [and] protect the wealthy, corporate CEOs and big oil," an announcer says.

Democratic surrogates including the party chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, will be on the ground -- including a speaking slot on the "soapbox" at the Iowa State Fair.

The Iowa Democratic Party will have a series of round-table discussions throughout the state this week to warn about the "disastrous" GOP agenda, including the "Cut, Cap & Balance" and Paul Ryan budget plans that failed to move beyond the Republican-controlled House.

Most of the Republican candidates are in the Hawkeye state this week. On Thursday they will participate in a debate on the Fox News Channel. And Saturday thousands of local Republicans will indicate their early favorites in the Ames straw poll.

The most powerful Democratic surrogate won't be far behind. President Obama is going to be in the region next week on a three-day bus tour focused on his economic agenda.


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