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Apr 17, 2017 11:30 AM

GOP group targets Elizabeth Warren using their 2016 playbook against Hillary Clinton


CONCORD – A pro-Republican group that relentlessly attacked Hillary Clinton in the lead up to her 2016 run for the White House is launching a repeat performance when it comes to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her possible 2020 presidential bid.

America Rising announced Monday their “Elizabeth Warren Initiative,” which they say is aimed at making “life difficult” for the senior U.S. senior from Massachusetts as she runs for re-election in 2018. And they say they’ll continue developing “the long-term research and communications angles to damage her 2020 prospects.”

Warren, who considered but ultimately decided against a 2016 White House bid, is extremely popular and influential with progressive voters across the nation. And she’s considered one of the possible Democratic contenders to take on President Donald Trump in the next race for the White House.

“She’s always been an interest of ours because of the enormous sway she has as really the leader of the Democratic Party,” America Rising Executive Director Colin Reed told NH1 News.

America Rising’s announcement comes one day before Warren’s Tuesday launch of her latest book, “This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.” The tour will include stops this week in New York City, Boston, and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. No word yet if her book tour will bring her to New Hampshire.

“We’re viewing this book tour as a soft launch of her presidential campaign,” Reed said. “Book tours from politicians are usually a good sign that they’ve got their eyes set on higher office and that’s the way we are interpreting these tea leaves from Warren.”

America Rising targeted Hillary Clinton in 2014, with the release of her book “Hard Choices.”

“When Secretary Clinton unrolled her book tour in the summer of 2014, it was viewed correctly by many in the media as a soft launch for her presidential campaign. It was during that book phase that she came out of her post-Secretary of State life and she began doing interviews again, during which she famously described herself and her husband as being ‘dead broke’ when they left the White House. That was a gaffe that haunted her throughout her campaign,” Reed recollected.

Reed said his group will be keeping their eyes on Warren’s book tour and whatever interviews the senator conducts.

“We’ll be monitoring those interviews. It should provide opportunities for us we hope,” Reed added.

Warren denies that her new book any kind of soft launch for a potential 2020 campaign.

“This is my 11th book and books are part of the way I fight for what I believe in,” she told Politico last week. “Right now, I believe we’ve all got to be in the fight and that’s why the book is called ‘This Fight is Our Fight.’”

But first things first. Warren’s up for re-election

So far only one Massachusetts Republican’s taken formal steps towards setting up a campaign. Earlier this month state Rep. Geoff Diehl of Whitman, who was a top Trump supporter last year, announced he was launching a 2018 exploratory committee.

Reed, who worked on then-state lawmaker Scott Brown’s January 2010 special U.S. Senate election victory and who was Brown’s communications director in the 2012 re-election defeat to Warren (Reed was also campaign manager for Brown’s 2014 defeat against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire), says Warren can be beaten.

“To run and win as a statewide Republican in Massachusetts you need a combination of three things. You need to run a run a great campaign. You need to have an opponent run a bad campaign. And you need a national political climate at your back,” Reed explained.

He pointed to a recent surveys, saying “there have been some poll numbers out there that show that that’s not necessarily a sure thing.”

As for the candidate who could possibly take on Warren, Reed said “I don’t know who that person is yet but the field has plenty of time to develop.”

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