Dems Give Business a Thorny Embrace

Dems Give Business a Thorny Embrace

In this Thursday, Nov. 2, 2000, file photo, Priceline.com headquarters is shown, in Norwalk, Conn. Priceline is buying online restaurant reservation company OpenTable for $2.6 billion. The deal should help Priceline, the online travel company, branch out into a new business segment. (AP Photo/Douglas Healey, File)
 (AP Photo/Douglas Healey, File)

Bernie Becker and Peter Schroeder, THE HILL
WASHINGTON (TheHill.com)—Democrats are offering a mixed message to the business community as they try to peel away support from the Republican Party.

For months, Democrats have wooed the business community by touting their support for the expiring Export-Import Bank, an agency Tea Party Republicans have been fighting to disband.

But at the same time, top Democrats have questioned the patriotism of companies seeking offshore tax deals, and pushed a populist set of proposals, including a hike in the minimum wage, that are businesses broadly oppose .

The dissonance in those messages underscores the challenge that Democrats face in keeping their Senate majority in a year when they must defend seats in GOP states and voters are tiring of President Obama.

Still, Democrats say there’s no reason their populist economic pitch should jeopardize long-term efforts to make inroads with corporate America.

“It’s not mixed for us,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said about the Democratic message.
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