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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 WatersDemocrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Maxine Waters: Trump 'has done everything that one could even think of to be eligible for impeachment' Maxine Waters: Parts of Trump immigration plan are 'very racist' MORE (Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget On The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls House Oversight Committee requests information on reported Trump plan to send TSA employees to border 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 RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 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 McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Buzz grows Rep. Amash will challenge Trump as a Libertarian 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 SchiffCohen says Trump attorney told him to say Trump Tower talks ended earlier than they did Cohen told lawmakers that Trump lawyer Sekulow instructed him to lie about Moscow tower project: report Supreme Court declines to hear case on businesses' political contributions 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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 KavanaughSupreme Court sides with Native American hunter as Gorsuch joins liberals Clash with Trump marks latest break with GOP leaders for Justin Amash ACLU, Women's March to hold nationwide protests over abortion bans 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 RothfusThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Trump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 Pennsylvania New Members 2019 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.