Maxine Waters gets company in new GOP line of attack

Maxine Waters gets company in new GOP line of attack

Republican leaders and conservative commentators are warning GOP voters that if Democrats take back the House, it will usher in a new era of liberal committee chairmen hell-bent on destroying the Trump presidency.

Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiJohn Lewis joins Ocasio-Cortez on climate change push Dem House newcomers split on supporting Pelosi for Speaker Reelection campaign starts now, like it or not MORE (D-Calif.) is still the star of many GOP attack ads this fall, but Republicans are also taking aim at a handful of new targets: Reps. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDem women rally behind Pelosi Pelosi, potential challenger Fudge hold 'candid' discussion Marcia Fudge under spotlight as Pelosi Speaker fight heats up MORE (Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsTop House Oversight Dem says he will do ‘anything and everything’ to make Mueller’s findings public Sunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover Pelosi, potential challenger Fudge hold 'candid' discussion MORE (Md.) and other top Democrats poised to take control of key committees with broad subpoena and investigative powers.

The line of attack is intended to inflame the conservative base, raise cash and drive GOP voters to the polls in an effort to save the Republican House majority on Nov. 6.

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"Nancy Pelosi is an easy foil for Republicans, and her poll numbers reflect that," said a House GOP aide. “But for single-issue voters out there, it's just as concerning when they learn that a House controlled by Democrats could mean cuts to defense spending or there will be new committee chairs who want to make the president's life miserable.”

"It can definitely be a motivator for our base down the stretch," the aide added.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCalif. congresswoman-elect bumps into Pelosi at airport How this year’s freshmen can save the Congress — and themselves Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters MORE (R-Wis.) and his campaign team have been traveling the country warning GOP donors about who the incoming Democratic chairmen would be and how they would undermine the GOP agenda of a robust military, lower taxes and fewer regulations.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump heads to California to meet first responders amid deadly wildfires Hillicon Valley: Russian-linked hackers may have impersonated US officials | Trump signs DHS cyber bill | Prosecutors inadvertently reveal charges against Assange | Accenture workers protest border enforcement work | App mines crypto for bail bonds McCarthy, other Republicans back Ratcliffe to be next attorney general MORE (R-Calif.), who is vying to be the next Speaker when Ryan retires in early January, has been sounding the alarm about Waters’s fiery rhetoric calling on Democrats to confront and “push back” on Trump administration officials in public.

“That means if they were to win the majority, [Waters] would be the chair of Financial Services, one who asked people to actually cause problems for other individuals. It's the opposite of what we expect from our elected officials,” McCarthy said on Fox News. “That's why this November is so important to make a fundamental difference and not let the Democrats take over.”

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel singled out Waters and Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump labels Schiff ‘little Adam Schitt’ Schiff: Democrats will challenge Whitaker's appointment Sunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover MORE (D-Calif.), who is poised to become Intelligence Committee chairman, saying in a tweet that they want to “ruthlessly go after [President TrumpDonald John TrumpBroward County official Brenda Snipes submits resignation after criticism Retired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks MORE] if they win.”

“Their baseless efforts to impeach & investigate aren’t just an attack on the president, they’re an assault on all the progress our country has made,” she tweeted.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham this week displayed a faux movie poster featuring images of the would-be Democratic leaders with the title: “Meet the Chairmen,” a play on the “Meet the Parents” flick.

Ingraham played a clip of Waters chanting, “Impeach 45,” a reference to Trump, and another clip of Nadler, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, threatening to launch a perjury investigation into newly seated Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship Sotomayor: Kavanaugh now part of the Supreme Court ‘family’ MORE if Democrats prevail on Election Day.

“For the MSNBC crowd, it’s like Christmas morning. But for America, it would be a nightmare we cannot let become reality,” Ingraham said on her show. “If this band of liberal misfits and radicals take the reins of power in the House come November, it will be scarier than Halloween. And the trick will be on the American people, and the treat will be given to someone else.”

Anti-Pelosi messaging has long been a staple of House Republicans' campaign strategy. Ever since she rose to prominence more than a decade ago, Republicans have portrayed her as a big-government, San Francisco liberal who would drag the Democratic Party — and the country — into socialism.

But with a number of Democrats vowing not to support Pelosi for Speaker if they win back the House, Republicans have been experimenting with a different approach.

Rank-and-file Republicans are taking their cue from GOP leadership and going after the top committee Democrats on the campaign trail and in debates. Vulnerable GOP Rep. Keith RothfusKeith James RothfusPennsylvania New Members 2019 Pennsylvania Dem: Trump has proven he's 'interested in negotiating' Trump rips pundits for not giving him ‘proper credit’ for ‘great’ midterm MORE, who is facing off against centrist Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb following redistricting in Pennsylvania, argued that having Waters and Nadler as chairmen could lead to impeachment proceedings and more investigations into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

Rothfus said during a televised debate this week that Waters has “been all over this country preaching the message of impeachment,” and that “there are other Democrats” doing the same thing.

“We would have endless investigations,” he added.

Liz Mair, a political strategist and former online communications director for the RNC, suggested the strategy of targeting ranking members is likely more effective with donors than voters, noting committee members generally don't have high name recognition with most Americans.

"Obviously if you look at these latest numbers it's pretty clear that Republicans have a fundraising problem relative to Democrats — we're not keeping pace," Mair told The Hill in an interview. "The people who really pay attention to who's committee chair and who is setting the agenda on various items, they're the big donor industries."

To that point, Team Ryan has been circulating the list of potential Democratic committee chairs as they meet with donors around the country. A Democratic-controlled House, they warn, would be detrimental to carrying out the GOP’s agenda.

“DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN,” the bottom of the memo reads.