New GOP campaign ad targets 'unhinged' Dems

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is going after Democratic politicians and liberal celebrities in a new ad dubbing the left as "unhinged."

The ad, released Tuesday, splices together sound bites from Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Wage growth shaping up as key 2020 factor for Trump Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' MORE (I-Vt.), House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiSenate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller End of Mueller shifts focus to existing probes Democrats renew attacks on Trump attorney general MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMichael Steele: A missed opportunity at holding banks accountable On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars Democrats should be careful wielding more investigations MORE (D-Calif.), as well as several celebrities, to cast the modern Democratic Party as radical and — at times — violent. 

"A few years ago, ideas that we talked about were thought to be fringe ideas, radical ideas and extremist ideas," Sanders can be heard saying in the ad, as images of burning cars and graffiti promoting revolution appear on the screen. "Those ideas are now mainstream."

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Among the celebrities featured in the video: comedian Kathy Griffin, talk show hosts Bill Maher and Samantha Bee, actor Johnny Depp and singer Madonna. 

"Voters have a clear choice in 2018. The Democrat Party is the party of obstruction and extreme rhetoric while the Republican Party is working to deliver a stronger economy for all Americans," Steve Guest, a spokesman for the RNC, said in a statement.

The ad also uses controversial quotes and footage that has sparked outrage among conservatives, like a controversial photo in which Griffin is seen holding a prop resembling President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE's severed head.

The use of that image in the GOP ad prompted a response from Griffin herself.

"The @GOP has used video from my Trump mask photo shoot in their latest web ad," Griffin tweeted. "They've also included @MaxineWaters and @iamsambee - I'm in good company. Is this the best you got guys? A comic's photoshoot...while your president is keeping children in internment camps?"

"Also I'd like to note I was under a two month federal investigation for this image...but the GOP and @GOPChairwoman use it in an ad?" she added. "So it was allegedly dangerous enough that I needed to be the subject of this investigation but now it's no longer dangerous?"

The ad also weaves in a recent video of Waters calling on Trump's opponents to push back on administration officials when they see them in public. That comment has sparked backlash from Republicans, as well as some Democrats.

The ad is part of an effort by the RNC to cast Democrats as obstructionists — a line of attack often repeated by Trump — ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, a party official said. The RNC is also preparing a substantial digital ad buy aimed at turning out volunteers in key states.

--Updated at 12:28 p.m.