According to a deep dive by Politico into the success that the conservative anti-Trump Lincoln Project is having getting under the president's skin, one of the founders of the group admitted that the inspiration for a rapid response team came from the wife of one of the other founders.
That would be a counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, wife of Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway.
According to Reed Galen who partnered on the project with Conway and GOP strategists Rick Wilson and John Weaver, he knew he and his partners were on the right track with their ads that harshly criticize Trump in a way that ads from the Democrats don't when the president started complaining about them on Twitter.
Part of their plan, as he pointed out, was to buy time on Fox News at night where the president was sure to see them, with Galen stating, "He's always gonna be watching Fox News at night in the residence.”
“It's not just pissing off Donald Trump. Anybody could do that,” Galen recalled in an interview with Politico's Tina Nguyen and Elena Schneider. “It's, to what effect? Like, why are you doing it? And the point is to take him off his game and take his campaign off their game, strategically and tactically, so that the Biden campaign and Joe Biden can have the freedom of movement and the green air to do the things that they need to do.”
According to the Politico report, the genesis of the group can be attributed to founding member Conway after speaking with his wife.
"Galen had co-founded the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump PAC run by Republicans, with the goal of convincing Americans to vote against him in November. In May, the group thought Trump’s response to the pandemic had created the perfect opportunity to both make their case," the report stated. "Off of a brainwave that cofounder George Conway had during a conversation with his wife, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, Galen and his small team guessed Trump would be particularly enraged by an in-the-moment ad that portrayed the president as making Americans 'weaker, sicker and poorer' than ever before."
According to Democratic donor Robert Wolf, help from disaffected Republicans is more than welcome.
“I love seeing their stuff. Their recent ad is my pinned tweet,” he explained “All the Democrats love watching what they're doing, but I'm not sure yet if they are preaching to the choir or actually moving Republicans away from Trump to Biden. Either way, it's still a net positive.”
According to Galen, the time was ripe to go after a weakened Trump as he bungled the coronavirus pandemic.
“We already had a plan in place which was prosecute him, prosecute him, prosecute him,” he explained. “The difference is that he became a much weaker defendant, all on his own, because of his own faults.”
Wilson, for his part, has been pleased with how they have infuriated the president.
“No other group in the space has been able, at any point, to drive Trump's behavior as we've been able to do, and we think there's an enormous value add on that,” he claimed.
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