Memo Advises Democrats To Go Low And Punch Hard While Debating The GOP

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Molly Prince Politics Reporter
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Two prominent debate preppers for the Democratic Party released a memo Monday providing guidelines on how Democrats should go about debating their Republican counterparts in preparation for the November midterm elections.

Ron Klain, a “debate-prep guru” for all of the Democratic presidential candidates since 1992, and John Neffinger, a former DNC communications director, circulated the 10-page memo, which consisted of 40 different rules and was first reported by Axios.

The duo have distributed debate tips to individual candidates every year since 2006, however, this election cycle they are consolidating efforts and providing insight to all Democrats, according to the memo. (RELATED: Senate Midterm Preview)

“The debate ‘judges’ — the media (old and new) and the voters — have come to see debates as a competitive exercise, not just an information delivery opportunity, and they are looking for a winner to crown and a loser to shame,” the memo states. “‘Staying above the fray’,’just getting my message out’, and ‘pretending like my opponent isn’t there’ are NOT viable debate strategies.”

The memo also emphasizes that debates should be looked at as “pugilistic encounters,” and the most salient recommendation for any Democratic debater is “Smile … and attack.”

It also warns that Republicans will likely model their own debate strategy off of President Donald Trump, referring to his tactics as “arrogant, antagonistic, filled with insults and nicknames and lies.”

But don’t get rattled, the memo reads — be a “happy warrior.”

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