GOP fundraises off of Sanders bid with communist symbols


The House Republicans' campaign arm is fundraising off of Bernie SandersBernie SandersApathy: The real risk a Trump presidency poses to democracy Clinton to campaign in Arizona days before election The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE's presidential bid by using the images of the communist hammer and sickle.

"It’s a real possibility that the Democrats may actually nominate a socialist. Self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders is catching fire in the Democrat primary," the National Republican Congressional Committee writes on a fundraising page.

"He's smashing online fundraising records and has even reported over two million online donations. We have to stop this! Pitch in today to keep America free from socialism."

The messaging comes as Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonRNC: New FBI review of Clinton emails 'stunning development' GOP senator: Why is FBI reviewing Clinton emails now? Election Day won't mean the end of voter disenfranchisement, anger MORE allies have sought to frame Sanders's self-identification as a democratic socialist as a potential pitfall for Democrats that could hurt efforts down the ballot as the party looks to retake the Senate majority.

Her supporters believe Republicans have focused their attacks on Clinton because she would be a tougher general election opponent for Republicans.

"The Republicans won’t touch him because they can’t wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle,” Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillMcCaskill offers Trump 'Mean Girls' advice Trump's taxes bump Miss Universe from headlines Dem on NYT report: Trump 'walks away with a golden ticket' MORE and key Clinton surrogate told The New York Times in January.

Sanders and his team have repeatedly pushed back against concerns about his identification, arguing that his message is in line with a commitment of presidents including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson to expand social programs for the least fortunate.

The two Democratic presidential hopefuls are running a tight race with the Iowa caucuses just a day away.

Sanders has cut Clinton's lead in Iowa over the past month, leaving Monday's caucuses essentially up for grabs. Clinton has won the edge in each of the last five major Iowa polls aggregated by RealClearPolitics and currently holds a 3 percent lead according to the RCP average.