If Harry Reid has his way, every single Senate Republican will be synonymous with Donald Trump come November. And there's a pretty clear path for him to do that.
"It's easy to do," Reid told Everett. " … My job is to tell the people that [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell is one of the reasons we have Trump. ... Everything that Trump is, McConnell led the charge." Lifting the curtain of his strategy a bit, Reid even used the verb "cuddle" in his interview to describe McConnell's relationship to Trump.
As Senate Democrats and their allied groups have found, there's no shortage of ways to try to link Trump to Republicans -- especially vulnerable incumbents in swing states. Senate Democrats need to knock off four or five Republicans to take back the majority next year.
Take the Supreme Court confirmation battle. Here's an ad Reid-affiliated Senate Majority PAC ran in New Hampshire recently against Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R): "Ayotte joined Trump and party bosses in refusing to consider any [Supreme Court] nominee, ignoring the constitution," the narrator says, while every five seconds you hear Trump saying: "Delay, delay, delay."
Or take just about anything controversial Trump has said. Here's a digital ad Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat challenging Sen. John McCain (R) in Arizona, recently ran:
"Donald Trump is dangerous to America," the narrator says. Enter Trump: "I could shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters. I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than water boarding." The narrator: "But no matter what Donald Trump says, John McCain would support him for president."
The ads are, frankly, brutal. We called the Arizona one "GOP's Donald Trump nightmare."
They also give us a pretty good playbook of how Reid is going to try to fulfill his mission to tie Trump to the ankles of Senate Republicans and drag them to the proverbial bottom of the ocean. It's so easy to see how Reid will try to make a potentially damaging Trump-Senate link, we created a Mad Libs-style, fill-in-the-blank attack that he and Senate Democrats could use every day from now until November. It's even sprinkled with things Reid has actually said about Trump in recent speeches (here, here and here). Print it out, play along:
Let me put this as bluntly as I can. (Vulnerable senator's name) is so enthusiastically embracing Trump, you can only assume s/he agrees with Trump's view that (controversial thing Trump has said about women, immigrants, Muslims, or, preferably all three).As he's demonstrated many times this campaign, Trump is a/an (adjective) spewing (adjective). According to an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, seven in ten women, three in four millennials and four in five Hispanics all (verb) him. The Washington Post said Trump will be the least-liked major-party nominee in decades. So why would any self-respecting public official support such a (adjective)? That's what (vulnerable senator's name) will have to explain to voters in his/her state. After months of (verb)-ing about Trump, s/he is now (verb)-ing up to Trump, attempting to help him get elected. (Vulnerable senator's name) had plenty of chances to denounce this nightmare of a candidate. In spite of all of this, Donald Trump is now the Republican Party's presidential nominee.And (vulnerable senator's name) has only himself/herself to blame. The rise of Donald Trump is no accident. He belongs to a party that has spent years rejecting the needs of (key demographic group), (key demographic group) and (issue popular with Democrats). No human being who (most controversial thing Trump has said, preferably like comparing women to dogs and pigs) deserves public office, least of all the presidency. And this is the man/woman (vulnerable senator's name) wants to give the power to change the Supreme Court and the nuclear launch codes?