Attacking The Media A Wise Strategy For GOP Candidates, Experts Say…For Now

Attacking the media rather than answering reporters' questions may be an effective approach for Republican presidential candidates like Dr. Ben Carson at this point in a campaign, but political scientists and Republican strategists say the tactic has limitations in the long run.

Carson faced increasing scrutiny last week after he took a lead over Donald Trump in two national polls, but his campaign pushed back hard when reporters raised doubts about certain aspects of his biography. He then thanked the "biased media" on Twitter for helping him raise $3.5 million in a week.

Political communications experts and strategists agree that the scrutiny Carson is under is appropriate and expected given his place in the polls, but they also say complaining about alleged media bias can be a highly effective short-term strategy, especially in a Republican primary.

"It's been effective since Nixon [was] doing it," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist. However, he added candidates need to be cautious about how often they rely on it.

"It's one thing to complain every now and then...When you do it all the time, you start to look defensive and weak."

Read more from Stephen Loiaconi at Sinclair Broadcast Group

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Analysis & Political Strategy