The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is launching an early six-figure ad campaign tying House Republicans to the QAnon conspiracy theory and Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (R-Ga.).
The ad campaign — the DCCC’s first major TV and digital investment of the 2022 midterm election cycle — targets eight House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP campaign arm ties vulnerable Democrats to Biden in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (R-Calif.), accusing them of aligning with fringe elements within the GOP and failing to stand against the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last month.
“QAnon, a conspiracy theory born online, took over the Republican Party, sent followers to Congress, and with Donald Trump, incited a mob that attacked the Capitol and murdered a cop,” a narrator says in one 30-second ad spot, as footage of Greene, former President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE and rioters flashes across the screen.
“Then Trump and Republicans in Congress sided with the violent QAnon mob. Congressman Mike Garcia should have stood with us. But he was a coward. He voted to protect Trump,” the ad continues. “Congressman Mike Garcia. He stood with Q. Not you.”
In addition to the ad attacking Garcia (R-Calif.), the DCCC will run similar spots against McCarthy and Reps. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic leaders racing toward Monday infrastructure vote MORE (R-Pa.), Young Kim (R-Calif.), Michelle Steele (R-Calif.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) and Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.).
Three of the House Republicans targeted by the ad campaign — McCarthy, Garcia and Van Duyne — were among the 139 members who voted against certifying the Electoral College results in certain states last month after the insurrection at the Capitol.
Others on the target list, like Salazar and Garcia, represent competitive districts that Democrats are hoping to win back after losing the seats last year.
The QAnon conspiracy theory alleges that the government is controlled by a "deep state" of globalist pedophiles who are working against Trump. While the conspiracy originated among fringe online communities, it has found some high-profile boosters such as Greene, who has previously promoted the theory on social media.
Greene, a first-term representative from a deep-red district in northwest Georgia, has emerged as a divisive figure among Republican lawmakers, some of whom have sought to distance themselves from her in recent weeks.
McCarthy in particular has faced growing pressure to strip Greene of her committee assignments. He is expected to meet with her this week.
Democrats, meanwhile, view Greene as a massive liability for Republicans, especially those representing swing districts. Their strategy to tie GOP members to QAnon and Greene resembles Republican efforts last year to link Democratic members to self-described socialists and leftists.
The Democrats’ push to link Republicans to QAnon is also intended to force members to either denounce the conspiracy theory and its supporters or publicly affirm it, a strategy that could prove dangerous for the GOP as they look to recapture a House majority in 2022.
“Washington Republicans are trying to have it both ways — refusing to hold those responsible for the attack on the Capitol accountable, offering nothing but empty words after years of hyping up lies and conspiracy theories,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairman of the DCCC, said in a statement. “There is no middle ground, but their actions have made one thing clear — no American will be safe from the QAnon mob if Washington Republicans are in power.”