Dems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday – The Hill

Democrats in both chambers will gather in rural Virginia on Monday to unveil a new national messaging campaign aimed at easing the economic strain on working-class Americans –– and propelling their party back to power in order to check an unpopular president in Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: Why aren’t ‘beleaguered AG,’ investigators looking at Hillary Clinton? Kushner says meeting with Russian lawyer a ‘waste of our time’ Kushner: ‘I did not collude’ with any foreign government MORE.

Behind Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerTrump: Why aren’t ‘beleaguered AG,’ investigators looking at Hillary Clinton? Trump: Washington ‘actually much worse than anyone ever thought’ Schumer: Dems didn’t ‘tell people what we stood for’ in 2016 MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Democrats are hoping their latest messaging pitch will prove an effective contrast to the Republicans’ policy agenda and pull voters to their side in next year’s midterm elections.

Trump soared to power last year on a simple promise to “make America great again,” and the Democrats have pulled a page from that strategy with a no-frills slogan vowing to provide “a better deal” for a middle class that’s struggled to keep pace with globalization and the march of technology. Like Trump’s campaign, the Democrats’ message suggests both that the status quo is failing working Americans and that the other party is to blame.

In its first phase, released Monday morning, the Democrats’ campaign focuses on three broad areas: creating new jobs; lowering prescription drug costs; and restraining the power of corporations. Notably absent from the agenda are the social issues –– things like reproductive rights, immigration reform and gun control –– that have, at times, defined the party.

On the jobs front, the Democrats’ plan would give employers a tax credit for training new hires and incentivize businesses to team up with educators to build a 21st Century workforce capable of competing on the global stage.

To lower drug costs, they want to empower the government to bar sharp increases in prescription prices while allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices they pay for drugs –– a haggling barred by current law.

To rein in “abusive” corporations, they propose to restrict large mergers; strengthen the review process that monitors mergers post-consolidation; and create a new “consumer competition advocate” designed to discourage market manipulation.

Additional proposals –– including tax and trade reforms –– will be unveiled later in the year.

The Democrats have been divided in recent years over the scope and focus of the party’s message –– a divide exacerbated by their minority status and the extraordinary rise of President Trump. Some maintain that party leaders have done too little to appeal to the conservative-leaning heartland voters who flocked to Trump. Others contend the Democrats have been too timid in fighting for the party’s ideals. They’re pushing an aggressive liberal platform that highlights the issues of economic justice championed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday Juan Williams: Dems finally focus on message This week: ObamaCare repeal vote looms over Senate MORE (I-Vt.), an icon of the left who energized liberals with his surprisingly successful primary run against Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDem suggests Trump focusing on Clinton, Sessions to distract from healthcare Trump: Why aren’t ‘beleaguered AG,’ investigators looking at Hillary Clinton? OPINION | Trump making grave mistake attacking Mueller’s motives MORE.

In a nod to the latter camp, the Democrats announcing the agenda on Monday will be joined by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday Juan Williams: Dems finally focus on message Sanders keeping door open on 2020 MORE (D-Mass.), another liberal hero who like Sanders has built a national following for her no-apologies fight against Wall Street and income inequality.

The other Democrats slated to the attend Monday’s event include Sens. Mark WarnerMark WarnerDems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday Talk of Trump pardons reverberates on Sunday shows Trump: Everyone agrees the president has ‘complete power to pardon’ MORE (Va.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday Dem senator: Trump acting like he’s still on ‘The Apprentice’ The next battle in the fight against human trafficking MORE (Minn.), and Reps. Ben Ray Lujan (N.M.), Cheri BustosCheri BustosDems to unveil ‘better deal’ messaging campaign Monday Lawmakers send well-wishes to Scalise on Twitter Dem lawmaker: Time for new generation of leadership MORE (Ill.), Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) and David Cicilline (R.I.).

The venue –– a town park in rural Berryville, Va., roughly 60 miles northwest of Washington –– is no accident. The region has long been controlled by the Republicans, but Clinton won the district last year by a 10-point margin and GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock, the current House member, is near the top of the Democrats’ target list in 2018.

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