Tie In and Defend

You’ve got to love the Cagle campaign. Seriously. While I have my doubts about parts of their strategy and am not wedded to the Cagle campaign, they have just employed one of my favorites, which I call the “Tie In and Defend.”

The trick is very simple, but it takes some thinking to be able to deploy when the moment presents itself. First, you find a party popular with your base that is getting beaten up, though more frequently than not, the beat up is under the radar or minimal. Then you tie the party popular to your opponent to contrast the party popular with your opponent. Then you defend the party popular highlighting the problems of your opponent with the attack in question. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both used this trick. Clinton’s was very famous in 1992.

At that time, more than a few liberal interest groups were attacking Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush on the economy — saying that the economic trouble was the result of Reagan’s tax cut. Clinton leapt to Reagan’s defense saying that the groups should leave Reagan out of it, after all it was Bush who had been in charge for four years and seen unemployment skyrocket. A lot of undecided Reagan Democrats would would be inclined to vote Republican, but for the unsure footing of Bush’s less than conservative campaign, got it in their heads that Clinton couldn’t be that bad a guy and went back into the Democrat fold.

So, by now you are scratching your head. What does this have to do with Cagle?

Well, read it and weep from a press release I just got:

In a statement today, Senator and Lt. Governor candidate Casey Cagle blasted the liberal group Campaign to Defend the Constitution for accusing Focus on the Family leader Dr. James Dobson of supporting casino gambling.

The print and television attack campaign attempts to tie Dobson to casino lobbyists Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff, despite the lack of any evidence to support those claims.

“These ads are designed to use the deceitful actions of a few individuals to smear the entire pro-family movement and Dr. Dobson — who has devoted his whole life to building stronger families and living what he believes. There is no proof whatsoever of illegal or unethical behavior by Dr. Dobson or Focus on the Family. To attempt to tie Dr. Dobson to the Ralph Reed-Jack Abramoff scandal is disgraceful and just plain wrong,” said Cagle.

“Liberals are now using the Reed-Abramoff scandal to mount a frontal assault on the entire pro-family movement, and I am personally outraged by it and will fight it at every turn. I strongly support Dr. Dobson’s efforts to set the record straight and seek any and all appropriate legal remedies,” Cagle continued.

Bring the very popular James Dobson into the Reed mess, only to compare and contrast with Reed and ardently defend Dobson. I didn’t even know Dobson was being so disparaged and I keep up with him on a daily basis.

Very well done.


  1. Jack S says:

    Ralph, please, for the sake of your family, your dignity and our Party, just withdraw.

    It’s OK. Nobody will think less of you. We all know it’s over. Just get out of the limelight and go lick your wounds in private. This is getting painful.

  2. larry smith says:

    What do you think the odds are on Ralph having the stones to put out a statement saying “this is my problem and trying to drag Dobson into it is wrong?”

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Especially when self-proclaimed “conservatives” decide it’s a good idea to require consumers to foot the bill for a natural gas line to be built by a publicly-owned utitlity.

  4. Briardawg says:

    Actually, no decision will be made on that pipeline until the PSC approves or denies such infrastructure plan.

  5. GAWire says:

    You know what, heck with all of this. I love the strategic side of campaign politics just as much as Erick, and it is always fun when we start getting into the in-depth moves like this, but I have learned that this stuff really doesn’t matter in the long run. This doesn’t turn out voters. This doesn’t mobilize people. This does nothing for identifying supporters or organizing grassroots. Wins and losses come down to the nitty gritty principles of turnout, candidate drive, fundraising, identifying voters/supporters, and ultimately proving you/your guy is a better alternative. So, here is what I want to see …

    I want to see Cagle & Co come out blasting Ralph Reed so hard, fast, and tough that he won’t know what’s happenning until Primary Day has passed. I want to see the Cagle Camp blasting Ralph so hard, that when voters go to the polls, they will be confused as to whether or not Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff are the same person. I want to see Casey Cagle communicating to voters that the idea of someone like Reed holding statewide office is not only baffling and rediculous, but it is downright scary b/c of A, B, C (insert sketchy Ralph fact here). I want to see Cagle et al submitting so many press releases about Ralph Reed’s every move being in question of ethical conduct, that the AJC has to purchase a new fax machine just for the campaign. I want Casey supporters to develop and implement a grassroots campaign that educates and informs people on Ralph Reed, and presenting Cagle as a great alternative, to a level that blows Ralph’s hat off, and makes it where no other person will ever talk about Reed’s grassroots abillities, except to say that HE GOT BEAT!

    Sound a little over the top? Good. Basically, I want Casey supporters foaming at the mouth, like Guerrilla warriors in the night (or whatever), aiming at the achilles heal, carotid artery, jugular, and strait for the heart with every shot.

    Too much negative campaigning, you say? Screw that! Crucial times call for crucial measures. It’s not like the stuff we are saying isn’t true. Besides, it works – Ralph showed us that!

    Take down the Reed campaign b/f he has the chance to do it to Cagle, b/c I can guarrantee that Ralph is on the prowl, his operation is running strong (despite recent reports), and there is still a chance that we could wake up one July morning wondering what the heck happened, and what the heck we are going to do for years into the future when Ralph holds office!


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