The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House GOP’s campaign arm, mocked its counterpart on the Democratic side after claiming it was able to garner internal Democratic information about key House races after standing outside a window while a presentation was taking place.
Some of the NRCC staffers noticed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) was holding a meeting with a slideshow that was clearly visible by standing outside the window of the room, according to Politico’s Playbook newsletter.
The NRCC took pictures of the slides, which according to Politico included information on internal polling in the upcoming special election to replace former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) as well as on other House races.
The NRCC sent a press release with the subject line, “Can someone call 1-800-BLINDS?”
“In building her world-class organization, apparently Cheri Bustos forgot to order world-class blinds,” NRCC spokesman Michael McAdams said in a statement to The Hill, taking a jab at DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.).
The NRCC also took to social media to publicize what they found.
“ICYMI: The @dccc forgot to close the blinds during their meeting going over poll results and the Dem primary candidates they were tipping the scales for. We were outside,” the organization tweeted on Friday.
— NRCC (@NRCC) February 14, 2020
The DCCC blasted the tactics, arguing the move was a breach of privacy.
“When you have no ideas or accomplishments to run on, you creep in the bushes, take pictures through people’s windows, and invade their privacy. The next time the NRCC is looking for tips on running winning campaigns, all they have to do is call us — we’ll be more than happy to explain why Kevin McCarthy is the Minority Leader,” DCCC spokesman Cole Leiter said in a statement, in reference to the Republican California lawmaker.
Democrats also countered that the NRCC didn’t gain any information that wasn’t previously publicly available.
“This is silly and the NRCC should be embarrassed by a lot of what they put out. They put out a press release where they drop some ‘hot oppo’ of candidates the DCCC is backing over progressive candidates that is literally the DCCC’s very public list of Red to Blue candidates,” one senior Democratic strategist told The Hill.
“The DCCC has a website for it, and it’s very public. So it’s kind of embarrassing that the NRCC didn’t know that’s what this was. The items they got weren’t secret. The talked about getting a list of battlefield targets, but those are all listed on the DCCC’s website.”
Red to Blue is the DCCC’s plan to flip Republican-held seats.
David Wasserman, an editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, also questioned the newsworthiness of the information obtained by the GOP.
“Ha, this ‘oppo’ trove of pictures isn’t that newsworthy. Pretty much all the info in the slides could be found on @CookPolitical or other sites. And those #CA25 primary polling numbers? Not really “super close.” They’re pretty consistent w/ our Likely Dem rating of the race,” he tweeted.
Ha, this “oppo” trove of pictures isn’t that newsworthy. Pretty much all the info in the slides could be found on @CookPolitical or other sites.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) February 14, 2020