Republicans and Democrats are using very different communications strategies as sequester government spending cuts loom beginning March 1.
Politico dinged the GOP's approach because it doesn't have a unified communications strategy, instead focusing on three distinct talking points. Some Republicans want to let the sequester happen if both sides can't come up with anything substantive before the deadline. Others want the cuts to be even deeper, and a third subset is calling for House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama to come together and negotiate a deal, even one with tax hikes.
Meanwhile, Obama's message has been consistent: the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts will hurt vital programs. On Tuesday, he visited a ship factory in east Virginia that makes nuclear submarines and told workers their jobs are “in jeopardy” unless the Republicans agree to an alternative debt-reduction plan that includes higher tax revenue, according to USA Today.
“The [sequester] will weaken our military readiness. And it will weaken the basic services that the American people depend on every single day,” the president said.
So far, the president's consistent strategy seems to be winning. Forty-nine percent of Americans would blame Republicans if the cuts go into effect, compared with the 31% who would hold Obama responsible, according to a Pew Research Center/USA Today poll.
Meanwhile, PR industry insiders in Washington have told PRWeek that while government contractors in other industries are letting people go, the PR firms are for now riding the situation out with their current staffing levels.