The most prominent representative of the new Super PAC is George Conway, the husband of Trump consultant Kellyanne Conway. The two make regular headlines with their marriage because George Conway became his critic shortly after Trump took office – at first he was talking to a job at the Department of Justice. Since then he has attacked the president in numerous television appearances and networked with others from the sparse opposition within the party. The Lincoln Project also includes Steve Schmidt, a former advisor to late Senator John McCain , and Jennifer Horn, former party leader in New Hampshire.
Behind the video is a group of Republican Trump opponents. It is the first advertising clip for their new Super PAC “Lincoln Project”. The Political Action Committee wants to raise money to drive the president out of office. The “Never Trumpers” do not speak out for an intra-party challenger. They go further because their website says: “Voting Democrats who support the Constitution, rather than Republicans who don’t, is a commendable step”.
“Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are ravening wolves”. A Bible quotation from the Gospel of Matthew, cut against Donald Trump , which brags: “Evangelicals, Christians of all denominations, and believers of all Religions have never had a greater patron saint than you have now, not even close! The “MAGA Church” is pulled through the cocoa in a new election campaign video in which supporters pray with their hands on the president and his fans declare him God-sent. “I’m the chosen one,” Trump calls, jokingly?
A PAC must keep to upper limits when it comes to direct donations. For presidential candidates that is $ 5000, the area code and the actual campaign count separately. In contrast, such a lobby group can invest money in advertising campaigns. A Super PAC, in turn, can even collect money from companies or associations, as long as the donations are not made directly to candidates, but, for example, to a video production such as that of the “Lincoln Project”.
From the founding of the Super PAC, the “Never Trumper” now apparently hope that previous Trump voters will turn away from the President. They want to achieve this with classic television campaigns, but also with online advertising and public appearances – an election campaign without candidates to a certain extent. The focus will be on “battleground states” such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the group said. Senators who are particularly keen supporters of the President, such as Martha McSally in Arizona or Cory Gardner in Colorado, are to be attacked directly.
“Patriotism and the survival of our nation in the face of the crimes, corruption, and divisive effects of Donald Trump are a higher goal than mere politics,” the “Never Trumpers” justified their initiative in an opinion article in the “New York Times” . Americans must fight the damage Trump has done to the country and the constitution. “Our many political differences with the Democrats remain, but our common loyalty to the Constitution requires a common effort,” it said.
It is no coincidence that the first campaign video deals with Trump’s relationship with religion. The group is apparently trying to address particularly Christian voters and evangelicals, who form an important part of Trump’s base. At least recently, the important evangelical newspaper “Christianity Today” called for Trump to be removed from office – even if she subsequently distanced herself from it in part. For the “Never Trumpers”, the small group of Trump critics among the evangelicals is particularly important because they could make a difference in some states. In the 2016 election, however, evangelicals who were against Trump did not call for the election of “constitutionally loyal” Democrats, but instead supported third-party candidates, namely the libertarian Gary Johnson . Or they had stayed at home straight away.
Many observers see the Super PAC and the video a new level in the intra-party or party-oriented opposition to Trump. Others are more skeptical. Alan Noble, an assistant professor at Oklahoma Baptist University and publisher of a Christian cultural magazine, told The Week that many evangelicals had a more utilitarian relationship with the president. “Trump is not God’s sent savior, he is just someone who stands up against leftist political correctness, appoints pro-life judges, and recognizes and welcomes evangelicals instead of making fun of them. Accordingly, they will not find themselves in the video and will reject it as anti-Christian propaganda, ” said Noble. Evangelical issues like abortion are particularly important
Rick Wilson, one of the founders of the Lincoln Project, recently told CNN that Trump had eroded the party like a “parasite” and the country needed to be saved.
In many states, however, the vote in 2016 was extremely tight. Convincing some undecided people could have a big impact. Even if frustrated Republicans stayed at home instead of voting democratically, that would have advantages for Trump’s opponents in many places. At the moment, however, the loyalty of most Republicans appears to be unbroken – regardless of the impeachment procedure.