Led by presidential candidate Ron Paul's "end the Fed" mantra, Republicans have made their attacks on the U.S. Federal Reserve into an election year rallying cry.
It's one that could turn ugly in November if the GOP manages to score big.
Where Paul has been the lone voice in the wilderness criticizing the central bank for years, others in the GOP recently adopted the Fed as a scapegoat for the financial crisis of 2008.
Many of the Republican attacks include calls to fire Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and to scale back the Fed's mandate - or in Paul's case, eradicate it altogether.
And while Paul - who actually wrote a book called "End the Fed" in 2008 - has little chance of becoming the nominee, his campaign does have a larger philosophical objective.
"It is Paul's goal to permanently establish within the Republican Party a group that is dead set on not having the Fed," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, chief economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, during his 2008 run for the presidency,told MarketWatch.
"This is not going away."
Ron Paul Scores Big With Younger Voters
Although Paul's overall support generally hovers in the low double digits, his message is very popular among younger Republican voters.
Paul won 48% of the under-30 vote in Iowa, 47% of the under-30 vote in New Hampshire and 31% in South Carolina. It's a demographic every candidate covets.
Paul's resonance with young voters, combined with the public's dim view of the Fed has set off an all-out GOP assault on the central bank.
For added juice, Republicans in general have sought to tie their criticisms of the Fed to U.S. President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
"If you are a [Republican] running for Congress - those freshmen in the House - they thought that Bernanke was walking around talking about buying assets for Obama to make it easier for him to spend," Holtz-Eakin told MarketWatch
. "It lit the fuse."
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