A group of Donald Trump’s most prominent conservative critics have banded together to launch the Lincoln Project, a super-PAC stacked with Never Trumpers and aimed at defeating the president and his most reliable lapdogs in 2020.
In a New York Times op-ed with the headline “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated,” the group’s leaders wrote that Trump has “neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve.” They will work to defeat him, they wrote, even if it means empowering Democrats. “Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort,” wrote the op-ed’s four authors — George T. Conway III, a Republican lawyer and the husband of White House aide Kellyanne Conway; Steve Schmidt, who worked for George W. Bush and John McCain; John Weaver, who worked for George W. Bush; and Rick Wilson, a Republican consultant.
The group’s website lists three other leaders: Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist; Jennifer Horn, former New Hampshire GOP chair; and Reed Galen, a conservative strategist.
The Lincoln Project’s plan is to work against Trump and his Senate allies by targeting moderate and disaffected Republicans in swing states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and North Carolina, Weaver told the Associated Press. The group says they already have fundraising commitments exceeding $1 million, but hope to raise much more.
Asked about the Lincoln Project by the AP, Kellyanne Conway vaguely referenced his husband’s participation. “It’s kind of disappointing to see some of the people who are involved, but not surprising,” she said. As for its goal, Conway doesn’t sound too worried about the group or its leaders. “They never got a president elected into the White House. I’m sure that hurts very much. But they never really accommodated the growing Republican Party and understood how to beat Democrats and we did,” Conway said.
It remains to be seen if there’s much of an audience for the Lincoln Project’s message. Never Trumpers have always been more well-represented in the media than among rank-and-file Republicans, who approve of the job he’s doing by a staggering 92 percent.