Republicans are looking to position Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a Democratic Party opponent that they can rally voters against, Politico reports.
Strategists within the party believe that the Massachusetts Democrat would be a liability for Democrats seeking re-election in 2018, and are giving her the lead role in campaign ads, blasting Democrats for voting with her.
"Elizabeth Warren is the face of the Democratic Party. She's extremely popular with their base, and that's why she's leading them right now. That's why [Democrats] are voting 100 percent of the time with Elizabeth Warren," National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Cory Gardner said, according to Politico.
Warren has taken on the role of Democratic firebrand, speaking out vehemently against President Donald Trump and a number of his Supreme Court nominees.
The Senate voted to silence her during hearings for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which appeared to gain her more popularity.
The GOP has fewer targets now, without former President Barack Obama and retired Sen. Harry Reid, and with Rep. Nancy Pelosi in the minority in the House. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been willing to make bipartisan deals, which makes him a less viable opponent, Politico reports.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Warren's popularity does not extend to states that Trump won, which will hurt the Democrats there come re-election time. "I can't imagine that she helps them. I think she hurts them," the Texas Republican said.
Any action against Warren could also diminish her chances at a run for the presidency in 2020, Republicans said, according to Politico.
Democrats, however, disagree that Warren should be their main target. "I think maybe what they should worry about more is actually doing America's work," North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said.
"It's not going to work," Schumer said.
Democrats say that Trump's actions, not Warren's, will drive opinions in the 2018 election. "I don't think anyone's going to be fooled," Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said, Politico reports.
Massachusetts Live reported that the NRSC on Wednesday released a series of ads targeting Warren.
The senator is "going out of her way to take the Democratic Party to the extreme far left and isn't being shy about it," the NRSC said.
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