Regretful supporters of President Donald Trump invited other Ohio conservatives to join them in voting him out of office.
A group of Republicans in the state have formed their own version of the Lincoln Project, a conservative anti-Trump group, called Operation Grant, named after Ohio native, Civil War general and former president, according to co-founder Phil Heimlich in a new Cincinnati Enquirer column.
"In 2016, many of us who wanted change in the White House took a chance on Donald Trump," Heimlich wrote. "We thought he’d lead as a conservative Republican: instead, he has imperiled our republic."
"We are alarmed by the anti-democratic tactics and flagrant abuse of power committed daily by Donald Trump," he added. "His actions are an affront to our Constitution and the Republican Party. In the words of our 18th president, Ohio’s Ulysses S. Grant, 'My failures have been errors in judgment, not intent.'"
In addition to Heimlich, a former prosecutor, Cincinnati city councilman and Hamilton County commissioner, the group includes Chris Gagin, a former Belmont County GOP chairman who resigned in disgust over Trump's behavior in Helsinki; Roger Synenberg, former chairman of the Republican Party and Board of Elections in Cleveland; Chris Gibbs, former GOP chairman and Board of Elections president in Shelby County; and Michael Anne Johnson, assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio.
The group faulted Trump's personal conduct, his handling of the coronavirus, his fealty toward Russian president Vladimir Putin and other autocrats, his mistreatment of allies, and his deficit spending, among other failures.
"We are free men and women," Heimlich wrote. "We claim our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe Mr. Trump no longer deserves the consent of the governed."
"Trump has routinely evaded the call to rise to the moment and lead this great nation," he added. "We will not make the same mistake this November that we made in 2016. You don’t have to, either."