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Mon Jun 19, 2017, 09:51 AM

Democrats use Trump 'mean' comment to tar GOP

‘You can almost see the ads being written already,’ one GOP aide said.

By JOSH DAWSEY and SEUNG MIN KIM 06/18/2017 09:09 PM EDT

Democrats are seeking to capitalize on President Donald Trump calling the Republican health care bill "mean" ahead of the Senate's vote to repeal Obamacare, seeing it as a pivotal moment in an issue that could drive the 2018 midterm elections.

The comments from Trump, made privately to senators last week, were largely overshadowed by a mass shooting at a Congressional baseball practice and new developments in the special counsel's investigation into Trump and his associates.

But a senior Democratic aide said the party plans to revive the "mean" comment part of floor speeches, press conferences and social media, and consultants said they craved the image of Trump celebrating in the Rose Garden with House members over a "mean" bill that hurt poor Americans. "We will be weaving mean into the broader attack in a prominent way," the aide said.

Democrats see the health care fight as more potent than an investigation into potential collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice -- and a possibly defining gaffe for commercials, according to aides. Hitting Republicans in the House for a bill that "even Trump said was mean" is particularly satisfying for Democrats, considering the president celebrated its passage in the Rose Garden.

In the Atlanta Journal Constitution poll of Georgia's Sixth Congressional District runoff, the health law polled lower than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Trump, Republican candidate Karen Handel, Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.


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