Ruth Conniff

Republican Anti-Trump Ad Hits State

Meet the Lincoln Project, led by past members of GOP campaigns, administrations.

By , Wisconsin Examiner - May 12th, 2020 01:06 pm
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Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

An ad seeking to persuade Republicans not to vote for Donald Trump went up on cable television stations in Wausau and La Crosse Tuesday.

The ad, titled “Mourning in America,” contrasts Trump with Ronald Reagan, and has generated more than 20 million impressions on YouTube and prompted an angry rant on Twitter from Trump.

“More than 60,000 Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored,” a solemn male voice declares over a weeping chorus of violins. “With the economy in shambles, more than 26 million Americans are out of work.

“There’s mourning in America,” the ad continues, “and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our country is weaker, and sicker and poorer. And now Americans are asking: If we have another four years like this, will there even be an America?”

The ad is part of an effort by the Lincoln Project, a super PAC founded in December 2019 by a group of prominent Republicans whose  mission is “to defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box.”

The group’s founders include George Conway, New York attorney and husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway; John Weaver, a former advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign and Sarah Lenti, the group’s executive director. Lenti served on George W. Bush’s National Security Council and worked on McCain’s campaign in Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana, before helping Mitt Romney write his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.

In response to the ad, Trump tweeted:

“We’re creating a movement of Republicans who’ve decided it’s better for us to defeat this flavor of Republicanism” — even if it means electing a Democrat, explains Lenti. She says she was motivated to work against Trump because of the way she feels he has degraded the office of the presidency.

“I do not want my children to emulate Trump,” she says. “He continues to make a mockery of the office, and that’s so dangerous — more dangerous than electing a Democrat.”

When the Lincoln Project launched in December, “We couldn’t have predicted that there would be a pandemic and an economic crash,” Lenti says, “but what we did know is a lot of Republicans were unhappy.”

Its ad buys this week target two cities in Wisconsin, as well as Dayton, Ohio, and Fort Meyers, Florida. “We are targeting areas where we think we can move soft Republicans to either cross over to vote for Joe Biden, or just not to vote for Trump this time,” Lenti adds.

“We’ve never been in a time like this, with a president that is so outrageous” says Lenti. “If ever there were a time when you might see Republicans move, this is it.” And it only requires moving 1% to 3% of those who voted for Trump in 2016 to change the outcome in 2020, she points out.

What’s unique about the Lincoln Project, Lenti says, is that it is made up of Republicans with years of experience working in Republican campaigns and administrations.

This gives them the ability to “use traditional Republican tactics and language — that’s a tool not every super PAC has.”

Other ads by the group include “Dystopia” which layers audio of Trump’s voice bragging about being “number-one on Facebook” with news clips about Americans dying of COVID-19 and economic collapse. Another ad, “MAGA church” aimed at evangelical Christians, quotes Matthew 7:15  — “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Lenti says she is comfortable supporting Joe Biden. “Supporting Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren would not have been possible for me,” she says. “Biden is more of an old-fashioned, moderate Democrat. It beats the alternative.”

Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.

4 thoughts on “Republican Anti-Trump Ad Hits State”

  1. Jhenry1131 says:

    I am truly shocked, but pleased that there are some Republicans who are willing to stand up against Trump! Our Government has never been so blatantly corrupt! It becomes more apparent every day!

  2. Julilly Kohler says:

    I’m honored and grateful to live in a country where the wanna-be dictator’s own people can revolt against him and live to do it some more.
    The General’s Plot against Hitler did not fare as well.
    We’ve still got the ballot box and must do what we each can to influence that — and these brave, principled people can indeed also make difference.

  3. Thomas Martinsen says:

    This phenom gives me faith that reason could prevail in this country: that we could unseat perhaps the worst president ever elected by the electoral college (despite losing the popular vote by a wide margin) and that Democrats and Republicans can possibly work together in the interest of a more perfect republic.

  4. Patricia Jursik says:

    It continues to shock me to see the Leader of our country continues the name calling. This alone should be a shame for citizens. A President elected for a four year term of office, is the President for all the people, even those who did not vote for him. Trump never seems to understand this. “Moonface” really, let’s hope the stone-thrower’s terms sets with the next full moon.

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