GOP Messaging in the Trump Age is Anything But

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The GOP messaging in the age of President Trump is getting lost in a never-ending series of tweets, intra- and inter-party squabbles and a constant drumbeat of bad headlines and dropping poll numbers. This comes as 2018 and the start of the mid-term election season are only a few months away.

On the heels of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson purportedly referring to Trump as a “Moron” and GOP Sen. Bob Corker, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, characterizing the White House as an “adult daycare center,” one has to wonder just how does the party communicate loyalty to each other and drive their legislative agenda forward?

The answer is not easily. This is like a bad version of “Groundhog Day.” The immigration ban was a mess, then there is DACA, the failed Obamacare repeal and a confusing tax plan. On top of that, add the poor chaotic response to Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria’s devastation. The only constant is that Trump and the GOP want to undo everything President Obama did.

Stealing Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” slogan won’t work when everything else is a mess. The GOP is starting to look and act as disorganized as the Democrats have looked historically.



What the GOP needs to do is solidify their base and point out that the Democrats have been obstructionist in their own way. They can’t get into intra-party fights like Trump has, and they need to be on guard against former Trump advisor Steve Bannon who is waging his own political war. Bannon has vowed he will help mount challenges to six of the seven GOP incumbent senators in the 2018 mid-term elections.

All of this is a pattern with Trump and the GOP: Early on after his election as president he went on Twitter to charge that the Obama administration had wiretapped his office at Trump Tower, it was a PR flap and a big media story for the GOP to deal with – taking time and energy away from their agenda.

The question then was do they as the GOP support Trump no matter what, or at some point, do they jump ship? The answer can be seen in Sen. Corker’s standing up to Trump.

But Trump has made it hard for others in the GOP to move forward due to all his attacks on just about everybody in every walk of life.

By the time this is published, there is likely to be another round of fighting, finger-pointing and twitter-bashing. What is the GOP to do? That is the $64,000 question as everyone looks to 2018.

About the Author: Andrew Blum is a PR consultant and media trainer and principal of AJB Communications. He has directed PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. Contact him at ajbcomms@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @ajbcomms

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