Paul Ryan and 'establishment Republicans' are Democrats' new GOP bogeymen

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled its first ad of the 2018 election cycle on Thursday, targeting “establishment Republicans,” including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

The 30-second clip shows both Republican leaders smiling and laughing as the narrator accuses them of  “coming after your health care” by “increasing your out-of-pocket costs,” supporting a “devastating age tax if you’re 50 or older,” and “ending guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions.” 

Ryan and McConnell have been on the receiving end of an increasing number of attacks by Democrats in recent months over their attempts to replace Obamacare. They have also come under fire from fellow Republicans, including Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former senior strategist who says he left the White House in August to fight the Republican “establishment.”

Trump himself has expressed frustration with Ryan for making a “mess” out of debt-ceiling negotiations and failing to pass healthcare in Congress. Meanwhile, Bannon continues to criticise the Speaker and the rest of the “establishment” on the campaign trail.

“I told [Trump] I was going to go after the establishment, go after the establishment first and the Democrats later,” Bannon said during a rally in Alabama last week. 

“Mitch McConnell and this permanent political class is the most corrupt and incompetent group of individuals in this country,” he added.

Watch the DCCC ad below:

USA Today reports the TV ads will run on MSNBC and CNN, and the radio ads will run in districts of perceived vulnerable Republicans, including Rep. Will Hurd of Texas and Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona. Most of the targets voted in May for the GOP plan to replace Obamacare.

Bannon’s fight against Ryan and McConnell puts him in an unlikely alliance with Democrats as they launch their new campaign ad this week across various cable television networks and 11 radio spots around the country. The TV ads will reportedly run for a week and the radio ads will run for three weeks.

Polls show only 31% of voters approve of the job Ryan is doing as the House speaker while 51% disapprove, according to a Washington Post-ABC News survey taken in September.

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