June 11, 2020
The Lincoln Project, a political action committee made up of Republicans and former Republicans, was formed with the purpose of challenging President Donald Trump's reelection campaign. As Democrats naturally work to get one of their own into the White House this fall, the right-leaning organization is working toward the same goal and members believe dissent from within the party can be even more effective.
"I think there is no one better positioned, or better able to take the message to other Republicans, than we are," co-founder Jennifer Horn told Cheddar.
"[Trump] hasn't just failed Republicans who didn't support him or Democrats, he's failed the entire Republican Party and more importantly the whole country," added Horn, who previously served as chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
The organization's rapid-response ads have gained attention for hitting Trump on timely issues, such as his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tear-gassing of protesters in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of police, and even the unprecedented rebuke of the president by his former Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Touting her staff for the quick turnarounds, Horn says the goal of the campaigns are to highlight the president's failures and work toward defeating him at the ballot box in November.
"We said from the beginning our goal is to defeat Trump and Trumpism," she said. "We'd want to make sure when this president's term is over that it never comes back."
The PAC is striking at Trump's leadership and policies, which Horn deemed "tyrannical, divisive, [and] enabling racism in others," with hopes of making such views unacceptable in any future leader.
That means The Lincoln Project is also looking beyond the White House and opposing Capitol Hill lawmakers who support the president.
"So that means we have to defeat those people who have enabled him, who've empowered him," she said. "Joni Ernst and Susan Collins and Corey Gardner and Martha McSally and other Republican senators who are up for reelection have stood silent in the face of this president's destruction, and those people deserve to have attention drawn to that as well."
Polling still shows strong support for the president among self-identified Republicans, but according to Gallup his job approval numbers have recently slipped, dropping to 85 percent in its most recent figures from 92 percent.
Several elected members of the GOP have pleaded ignorance of the president's recent controversies, like his suggestion that a 75-year-old protester seriously injured by police was an antifa "provocateur."
"It looks like a total lack of honesty and leadership. To suggest that they are unaware of the president's tweets is just completely disingenuous," Horn said, slamming Republican lawmakers, with the exception of Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who recently marched in a Black Lives Matter protest. "No other elected Republican Senator has stepped up to the plate. They're failing their constituents and they're failing our country."