First on CNN: House Democrats bracket Ryan with cable ad buy

Watch CNN's town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET

Washington (CNN)The House Democrats' campaign arm is taking direct aim at Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, working to link him to GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump ahead of the speaker's prime-time town hall with CNN's Jake Tapper on Tuesday.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is earmarking $16,000 of its $1 million-plus national cable ad buy to run a 30-second television spot on CNN right before Ryan appears.
    The campaign commercial features a series of actors who say they are Republicans, and express concerns about Trump's rhetoric about women, Hispanics, Muslims, with one woman saying to the camera: "How can Republican Members of Congress support that?"
    The ad is part of a DCCC media buy announced last week that is sponsoring commercials that began airing on Monday on CNN and MSNBC.
    The DCCC will rotate spots over the next few days until the beginning of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week, according to a senior Democratic leadership source.
    At the end of the spot targeting Ryan, one individual, portraying a GOP voter, says to the camera about Trump: "If he's our standard bearer, what the heck happened to our standards?"
    Republicans brushed off the effort.
    "Democrats are so desperate to deflect attention from their toxic nominee Hillary Clinton's lies and scandals that they are willing to waste a million dollars on cable ads that don't pass the smell test," Katie Martin, communications director for the National Republican Campaign Committee, told CNN.
    Ryan, who as part of his leadership role will chair the GOP convention, remained neutral in the primary process.
    He eventually backed Trump at the beginning of June after it became clear he racked up the necessary delegates to clinch the Republican nomination. But Ryan took some time making his endorsement, raising some reservations about some of the businessman's controversial comments.
    Last week, the speaker praised Trump after he traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with more than 200 House Republicans, saying he though Trump "did a great job engaging with our members and I think our members appreciated it."
    The Democratic source said that while the individuals in the ads are actors, the script reflects quotes from Republicans that the DCCC has collected through their research in recent months.
    The $1 million campaign also covers some targeted ads in 10 competitive House districts, with a specific focus on female voters.