WASHINGTON -- Jeb Bush was in New Hampshire, talking to voters about the education standards called Common Core.
Back in Washington, ears perked up on a team that spends all day, every day, scouring television and the Internet for appearances by Republican presidential candidates. A check of the team’s vast video archive unearthed a 2011 clip of Bush seemingly saying something different.
Days later, a 30-second video of the clips appeared on a political blog under the headline: “Jeb Bush’s shifting words on Common Core.”
The quick hit by the Democratic political action committee American Bridge was the latest shot from an opposition war room in the digital age. As their counterparts do on the other side, liberal and Democratic groups such as American Bridge are working to turn every move and utterance by a burgeoning field of Republican presidential hopefuls into a viral tweet, a damaging video or a scathing TV or newspaper story.
Their monitors track every move by the Republicans, research public records and record the hopefuls at campaign events – all in a quest to define the Republican field in a way to make them look bad.
“We constantly are digging,” said American Bridge’s research director, Steven D’Amico. “You don’t always find the silver bullet every day, but the truth is we find much smaller things that push a narrative.”