On Friday, Politico reported that senior Republican officials are "cringing" at an offensive personal attack tweeted from the official campaign account of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), against the wife of freshman Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC).
In response to Amanda Cunningham stating that she was happy that former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) was "getting bolder," the NRCC tweeted this:
Looks like Mrs. Cunningham likes a man who supports baseless impeachment…wonder if this will come up in… https://t.co/vW0eRdo4T1— NRCC (@NRCC)1569516327.0
The attack came after Amanda acknowledged she and her husband were in therapy and that they had to pay out of pocket because it isn't covered by their federal health plan.
Over the past several months, the NRCC communications team, led by spokesman Chris Pack, has gained a reputation for juvenile internet trolling, harassment, and personal attacks on the families of Democratic representatives.
NRCC staffers have mocked Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) as a "fake nurse" (she's actually a registered research nurse who studied at Johns Hopkins and worked at the National Institutes of Health). They have tweeted photoshopped images of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) in clown makeup. They made fun of Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), a decorated veteran, for his height, and also called him anti-Semitic (he's Jewish.) And they have aggressively tormented Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), harassing her elderly mother-in-law with unwanted packages to try to prove she doesn't live in Georgia, and accusing her of wanting to make "a quick buck" off her son who died from gun violence.
The NRCC at times doesn't even seem to know what their official party position is. A few months ago, Pack launched an attack on Democrats for a bill to raise congressional pay — that Republicans had helped negotiate.
Some GOP representatives have sounded the alarm about their campaign team's behavior. But NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer (R-MN) appears to be actively encouraging it, saying that, "Our communications team has a direct mandate from me and Leader [Kevin] McCarthy to be ruthless."