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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 SandersBernie SandersWhat the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform Business groups prepare for lobbying push against minimum wage Schumer: Senate could pave way for reconciliation on COVID relief next week MORE (I-Vt.), House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiEverytown urges Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to resign over newly uncovered remarks Sen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed support on Facebook for violence against Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMarjorie Taylor Greene expressed support on Facebook for violence against Democrats Bottom line Capitol Police report warned that Congress could be targeted three days before riot 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 TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' 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.