Politics

GOP Deploys Secret Weapon Against Vulnerable Democrats: Ilhan Omar

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The GOP has unleashed a secret weapon against Democrats here in Minnesota: Rep. Ilhan Omar.

The liberal firebrand has become such a polarizing figure that Rep. Collin Peterson, one of the more vulnerable incumbent Democrats, is distancing himself from Ms. Omar in a television ad in his competitive race against former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach.

In fact, the 15-term incumbent has said the freshman lawmaker “doesn’t belong in our party.”

Former Rep. Jason Lewis, meanwhile, is airing an attack ad against Sen. Tina Smith featuring a video clip of Ms. Omar, who wears a hijab, shouting into a microphone, “Dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.”

“That is why Tina Smith endorsed Omar,” the narrator says in the Lewis ad. “Jason Lewis supports the police. If you do too vote Jason Lewis for the Senate.”

The far-left of the Democratic Party heralded Ms. Omar’s victory in the 2018 midterms as a sign of what the party could become and proof of the electoral power of liberal-progressive ideas.

The victory made her the first woman of color to represent Minnesota in Congress and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

Since then, Ms. Omar, a naturalized U. S. citizen of Somali descent, has become a member of the Squad — a group of four decidedly liberal minority congresswomen — and became a vocal critic of President Trump and her own party.

She recently called out former Vice President Joseph R. Biden for taking down attack ads against Mr. Trump following the president’s coronavirus diagnosis.

“Why would Biden delay or suspend his campaign when we know Trump would’ve had ads up by noon today ridiculing Biden for testing positive?” she said on Twitter. “Get it together.”

Ms. Omar survived a well-funded primary challenger and appears poised to win a second term in the 5th Congressional District, which includes Minneapolis.

The 37-year-old has had been a headline-grabbing machine.

She has come under fire for comments she has made about Israel and for a descriptio

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