NEW MEMO: “Feeble over People”: House Democrats pledge allegiance to our Commander in Decline 

July 1, 2024

The NRCC released a new memo – covered this morning in Politico Playbook – outlining the playbook Republicans are writing to weaponize House Democrats’ blind allegiance to their doddering Commander in Chief, “gaslighting their own voters and refusing to take responsibility for the crisis the country now finds itself in.”

To: Interested Parties
From: Jack Pandol, NRCC Communications Director
Subject: “Feeble over People”: House Democrats pledge allegiance to our Commander in Decline
Date: July 1, 2024

We all watched it. Irrefutable evidence the President of the United States is experiencing cognitive decline as he sits in the Oval Office. Thursday’s debate shook the country to its core.

House Democrats have stood by and enabled this crisis due to their own fecklessness and allegiance to their party over the people of this country. “People over politics” is House Democrats’ caucus-wide slogan. But the fallout since Thursday night demonstrates a more accurate moniker would be: “feeble over people.”

Before the debate, Democrats insisted that voters should not believe their lying eyes. But data since the debate has Republicans writing a political playbook to punish these Democrats for gaslighting their own voters and refusing to take responsibility for the crisis the country now finds itself in.

Declining to comment is not an answer. The NRCC has been keeping careful notes on House Democrats’ statements in support of Joe Biden before the debate, and their complete silence after. Republicans will weaponize the silence of vulnerable House Democrats with their own voting records – capitalizing on Biden’s political collapse to expand the map and grow the House Republican majority.


Those Democrats who have managed to speak up have only one gear: gaslighting and misdirection. Before the debate, these Democrats insisted in private meetings and behind closed doors, the President is fully in command of his faculties:

Since the debate, not one of these vulnerable Democrats have spoken out. And yet – their leadership, seeking to the fill the void, has leaned in. Sunday show appearances by Hakeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi, and Jim Clyburn set new records for gaslighting:

  • Nancy Pelosi: Biden “has the stamina,” Trump has “dementia”
  • Hakeem Jeffries: “I believe a setback is nothing more than a setup for a comeback. And the reality is Joe Biden has confronted and had to come back from tragedy, from trials, from tribulations throughout his entire life.”
  • Jim Clyburn: “haven’t heard a single person express anything negative”

These are the figures House Democrats are allowing to speak for them. The NRCC is taking notes.


The first major media poll from the weekend is devastating – not just for Joe Biden, but for down ballot Democrats. Here is what CBS News discovered in its post-debate poll:

  • 72% believe Biden “does not have mental & cognitive health to serve as president” compared to only 27% who believe he “does”
  • 72% of registered voters believe he “should not be running for president”
  • Only 54% of registered Democrats believe he “should be running for president” compared to 46% who think he “should not”
  • On the question of “Why shouldn’t Biden be running for president?”
    • 86% cite “his age”
    • 71% cite “decisions he might make in office”
    • 66% cite “his record as president”
    • 59% cite “ability to campaign effectively

As a reminder, Joe Biden’s pre-debate standing in polling was historically low for any sitting president running for re-election. Before the debate, the President’s approval number was hovering at just 39.7 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics poll average.

By comparison, at this point in their respective presidencies, Trump was at 41.2 percent approve, Obama was at 48.0 percent approve, and Bush was at 47.7 percent approve. No president in recent history has been in such weak standing as they run for re-election – period.


After the debate, the NRCC immediately recognized House Democrats must be put on the spot and either defend Joe Biden or acknowledge what the rest of America saw. The NRCC blanketed Capitol Hill and Reagan National Airport Friday with an army of trackers, and the Capitol Hill press corps caught many other vulnerable Democrats in the hallways. The result was shocking but not surprising: collective silence from Democrats too weak and feeble to take a political stand. Here are the Democrats who care more about their own political well-being within their party instead of the country’s well-being:


Yet going into witness protection will not save these Democrats. House Republicans have  taken meticulous record of their actions protecting Joe Biden from additional scrutiny and oversight as Democrats sought to hide his condition from the broader electorate. We will use their votes to inflict severe political pain on Democrats.

Every single House Democrat in the above list voted to protect President Biden from having the Hur interview tapes released – tapes that would have given audio evidence to the public demonstrating the President’s decline.

The NRCC can weaponize these votes in paid advertisements, mail, digital, and earned media to pin Democrats to a conspiracy to protect a President Americans do not believe should be serving another term. In fact, we already have – dropping a new ad just the day after the debate re-upping Democrats’ old comments: “We now know that every single person who said that has been lying to the American people.”

This is just a taste of what these Democrats can expect on the campaign trail from Republicans.


Our country is in a moment of genuine crisis. Our adversaries are paying close attention. This is a time of choosing. Voters are alarmed and no longer have faith in Joe Biden’s fitness for office, according to post-debate data.

House Democrats who continue to defend Joe Biden in direct contradiction to what voters have now seen with their own eyes will lose their elections. House Democrats who continue to remain silent as a Commander in Decline sits in the Oval Office will lose their elections.

There is only one pathway out of this: people over politics. Do House Democrats believe it?