A new Republican Party ad campaign denounces extremist rhetoric and acts among those on the left ahead of November’s midterm elections, labeling the rival party “unhinged” in a video comprised largely of statements by elected Democrats and others.
After several Trump administration officials have been harassed in public places in recent weeks, a number of Democrats have urged civility within the party. Some have predicted a confrontational strategy could backfire by playing into the narrative that President Donald Trump’s agenda is under attack from the left.
In a statement from the Senate floor this week, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called personal attacks un-American and said they had no place in the Democratic Party.
“No one should call for the harassment of political opponents,” he said. “That’s not right. That’s not American. The president’s tactics and behavior should never be emulated. It should be repudiated by organized, well informed and passionate advocacy.”
Despite those calls from within the party, some leaders have pushed forward with a message of hostile resistance.
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., earned a mix of praise and denunciation from her party when she encouraged protesters to ramp up public shaming campaigns against Trump administration officials.
Her recent comments to that effect were included in the recent GOP ad spot.
“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,” Waters said. “You push back on them and you tell them they are not welcome anywhere, anymore.”
Along with a number of audio clips, the video also included images like comedian Kathy Griffin’s controversial photo in which she held a prop meant to represent Trump’s bloodied, severed head.
The GOP included clips of some divisive political jokes told by several other comedians during the Trump era.
The video begins with a statement from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who found support within the Democratic Party for his socialist-inspired platform when he ran in that party’s 2016 presidential primary.
“A few years ago, ideas that we talked about were thought to be fringe ideas, radical ideas, extremist ideas,” he said. “Those ideas are now mainstream.”
Several other prominent figures, including actor Johnny Depp and singer Madonna, were featured in the clip.
“When was the last time an actor assassinated the president?” Depp asked a crowd about a year ago.
He added later that it has “been a while and maybe its time,” going on to predict that his comments would create a media firestorm, which they did.
Madonna attracted similar backlash when she spoke during a political protest and confessed that she has “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”
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