Democrats “have lost control” of their base and membership, said veteran pollster Pat Caddell while commenting on the day’s “government shutdown.”
Caddell’s remarks came in a Friday interview with Breitbart News’s Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight.
“They have got themselves locked in on this question about DACA,” said Caddell, pointing to broad Democrat prioritization of pursuing legislative amnesty for illegal immigrants styled after the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
Democrats will politically damage themselves by prioritizing pursuit of a DACA-style amnesty bill while neglecting border security, said Caddell. Widespread Democrat support for “sanctuary cities,” he added, is an unpopular position across the broader public.
“Yes, DACA itself is very popular, but so are the positions that Trump has laid out that also need to be part of any deal,” said Caddell. “Those are also popular. Sanctuary cities are not popular. Simply amnesty by itself is not popular. Most of all, protecting the border is popular, whether people like the idea of a wall or not.”
“Democrats certainly understood in December that this was not a good idea to shut the government down over DACA,” said Caddell. “They’ve lost control of their base.”
President Donald Trump should publicly highlight the damage done to “children and the military” by most Senate Democrats, said Caddell, pointing to broad Senate Democrat rejection of full funding for federal government operations via the continuing resolution.
“I don’t see in the end how the Democrats benefit,” said Caddell regarding the shutdown. “If the president says, ‘This is not part of the budget, and we’re not going to give it, and you’re hurting children and the military.’ And we will start seeing evidence of that very quickly … The effects are going to pretty immediate and pretty real to people, and they’re going to be ticked off.”
Caddell further advised Trump to cast Senate Democrats who voted against Friday’s continuing resolution as subverting the well-being of their states and the broader nation. The president should also frame these Senate Democrats as subservient to their party’s leadership instead of their constituents, he added.
“I think the president’s best argument about those senators is, when it comes to what’s good for their states and the country, they vote the way that’s good for their party leaders, and they are lockstep with them,” said Caddell. “They don’t vote independently. They don’t vote for the interests of Missouri or Michigan or Wisconsin, and they certainly don’t vote necessarily for the country’s interest as their electorate’s might see it. They are partisans first … and both sides have this problem. None of them took an oath to put their Democratic Party or the Republican Party as [the entity] to swear their allegiance to when they took the oath. It is to the Constitution and the country.”
Members of Congress should not be paid unless they pass a budget, said Caddell, advising Trump to publicly advocate for such a policy: “If Congress cannot produce a budget on time – which is September, not next January – they ought not to be paid. That would go over like hell-fire. That would go over fantastically with the voters. They are tired of this … The Democrats have shut this down solely on the basis of DACA and immigration.”
Democrats can rely on broad support from the news media, said Caddell: “The mainstream media will portray this as Trump’s fault and the Republicans. They are nothing but an adjunct of the Democratic Party at this point. They’re an opposition party; they’re not a media. They’re not a press. They don’t do anything a press is supposed to do to serve the country. They’re all in the business of their own hostile narratives.”
Trump erred in asking for only one DACA-related amnesty proposal during last week’s White House meeting, said Caddell. Inviting Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to spearhead the GOP side of the debate was also a mistake, he added, describing the two as “more for amnesty than even some Democrats.”
Last week’s DACA-themed amnesty proposal pushed by Graham and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), said Caddell, was “obnoxious.”
“What did they think Lindsey Graham was going to do?” asked Caddell rhetorically. “What did they think Jeff Flake was going to to? They came in to try and sandbag the president. That was the Republicans helping the Democrats sandbag the president.”
“From the very beginning, the White House should’ve been riding the Congress on who the gang of whoever would be on how to do this,” said Caddell, calling for the president to exercise greater direction in amnesty-related negotiations.
Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.