lincoln project pac Website: The mission, as described on a website launched on Tuesday coinciding with an opinion piece from the New York Times, is simple: “Defeat President Trump and trump at the polls.”
A small group of President Donald Trump’s fiercest conservative critics, including the president’s chief adviser husband, is launching a super PAC designed to fight Trump’s re-election and punish congressional Republicans considered their “facilitators.”
The new organization, known as the Lincoln Project, represents a formal step forward for the so-called Never Trump movement, which has been largely limited to comments on social media and cable news attacks during the first three years of Trump’s presidency Organizers report that fundraising commitments that exceed $ 1 million will begin, although they hope to raise and spend much more to fund a multi-month advertising campaign in a handful of 2020 battlefield states to persuade Republican voters unhappy to break up with the Trump Republican Party.
The group is led by a seven-person advisory council that introduces some of Trump’s most expressive critics of the Republican Party. Most, but not all, have already left the Republican Party to protest Trump’s rise.
Directors include former John McCain adviser Steve Schmidt, former Ohio Governor John Kasich John Weaver adviser, former New Hampshire Republican President Jennifer Horn, veteran Republican operative Rick Wilson and George Conway, a conservative lawyer and husband of the Trump chief advisor Kellyanne Conway.
In an interview, George Conway said he encouraged the new super PAC to involve Anonymous, an unidentified Trump administration official who wrote a recent book that warns the public about Trump’s re-election. The rest of the group finally decided not to accept Conway’s suggestion.
“I think the more, the better,” George Conway told The Associated Press. “And I hope he, he or she, I don’t know who Anonymous is, go out one day and join the effort. Because everyone who believes like us that Donald Trump is a cancer in the presidency and in the Constitution must help and join this effort. ”
When asked about the super PAC, Kellyanne Conway acknowledged her husband’s participation and said: “It’s a bit disappointing to see some of the people involved, but it’s not surprising.”
The start of the Lincoln Project is significant, but to say that it represents a minority of the Trump Republican Party would be a euphemism. Approximately 9 out of 10 Republican voters approved the president’s job performance and have done so throughout the year, according to Gallup. And with very few exceptions, Trump has the public support of virtually all Republican members of Congress.
However, recent elections suggest that Trump’s party is losing ground with educated voters and women, particularly in the suburbs of the United States, who have traditionally leaned toward Republicans. This new group hopes to push those voters more towards the Democrats.
Kellyanne Conway dismissed the group as a collection of failed campaign managers.
“They never got a president elected to the White House. I’m sure it hurts a lot. But they never really accommodated the growing Republican Party and understood how to beat the Democrats and we did it, ”he told reporters at the White House.
The Lincoln Project is a work in progress, despite the official launch on Tuesday. While the main players still don’t have titles, the daily operations will be led by Horn and Reed Galen, a veteran Republican agent who worked for McCain but left the Republican Party after Trump’s nomination in 2016.
The group starts as a super PAC, which means they can raise and spend unlimited sums of money and must disclose to their donors.
“You are seeing a shift from conversation to action,” Galen said, describing the launch as “a great turning point for the political season and for the president’s re-election.”
Specifically, the group plans to focus on blocking Trump’s re-election and defeating Trump’s allied Senate candidates in a handful of key battlefields by 2020. To do so, he points to a narrow but important portion of the electorate: disgruntled and independent Republicans with republican tendency.
While there is no concrete road map, Weaver said the organizers plan to fight the president’s re-election in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin along with Arizona and North Carolina. His efforts in the Senate would probably focus on Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Maine and possibly Kansas and Kentucky.
Weaver said the group is already reviewing the scripts for new announcements, which are expected to begin early next year.
“This is organic, and we will be flexible,” he said. “We have to go out and prove ourselves and show that we can be efficient and effective.”
Meanwhile, George Conway, who formally left the Republican Party last year, said he would probably serve as an “animator” for the new organization because of his limited political experience.
“I am not a fundraiser or political consultant, but if I could help that way and learn how to do it, even to raise a penny or two, I will do it because it is important,” he said. “For this, I think I can make an exception.”
He suggested that the Lincoln Project would pay special attention to the political trial procedures of Congress.
“If it is not removed by the Senate, it needs to be removed at the polls,” he said of Trump. “The people in Congress who are enabling it, either actively or passively, are also violating their oaths. … And they must also be eliminated. “