An alumnus of former Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign has joined George Conway in launching a new never-Trump super PAC with the explicit purpose of “defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box.”
John Weaver, a popular political consultant who served as a chief strategist for Kasich’s 2016 presidential campaign, published an article with Conway Tuesday in The New York Times to accompany the launch of the Lincoln Project.
“Over these next 11 months, our efforts will be dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line. We do not undertake this task lightly, nor from ideological preference,” they write in their article. “We have been, and remain, broadly conservative (or classically liberal) in our politics and outlooks. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort.”
Steve Schmidt, a political strategist who worked for President George W. Bush, and Rick Wilson, a Republican media consultant, were co-authors of the article and will serve on the advisory council of the new group. Conway is an attorney and the husband of Kellyanne Conway, one President Donald Trump’s top advisers.
According to CNBC, the Lincoln Project has already raised more than $1 million.
“Congressional Republicans have embraced and copied Mr. Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption. Mr. Trump and his enablers have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles and replaced it with Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet. In a recent survey, a majority of Republican voters reported that they consider Mr. Trump a better president than Lincoln,” the founders of the Lincoln Project write.
“Mr. Trump and his fellow travelers daily undermine the proposition we as a people have a responsibility and an obligation to continually bend the arc of history toward justice,” the article continues. “They mock our belief in America as something more meaningful than lines on a map.”
The op-ed repeatedly criticizes “national Republicans” for defending President Trump with “an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country.”
They claim they take their inspiration from President Abraham Lincoln because he “understood the necessity of not just saving the Union, but also of knitting the nation back together spiritually as well as politically.”
“But those wounds can be bound up only once the threat has been defeated. So, too, will our country have to knit itself back together after the scourge of Trumpism has been overcome,” states the article.
Weaver has been promoting the new project on Twitter and said in a Tuesday morning tweet that it is “time to get off the sidelines, join our allies and defeat Trump’s enablers in Congress along with Trump.”
We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated Join me, @gtconway3d @TheRickWilson @SteveSchmidtSES & many more at @ProjectLincoln Time to get off the sidelines, join our allies and defeat Trump's enablers in Congress along with Trump. Read more here: https://t.co/ccgc92nEwe
— John Weaver (@jwgop) December 17, 2019
Conway published a “response to the Trump campaign’s attack on the Lincoln Project” Tuesday afternoon.
“Today it seems that the Republican Party apparatus defines Republicanism and conservatism as meaning one thing—unwavering fidelity to the incompetent narcissistic sociopath in the White House, and to his senseless, self-serving whims,” said Conway.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) December 17, 2019
His statement seemingly came in response to comments his own wife made about the Lincoln Project while speaking to reporters at the White House Tuesday.
“They never got a president elected into the White House,” said Kellyanne, according to the Associated Press. “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.”
Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for President Trump’s reelection campaign, called the group a “pathetic little club of irrelevant and faux ‘Republicans’ who are upset that they’ve lost all of their power and influence inside the Republican Party.”
Weaver told the Associated Press that the Lincoln Project will specifically focus on blocking Trump’s reelection in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and said he is already reviewing scripts for new anti-Trump ads.
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Weaver” by NBC News. Photo “George Conway” by CBS News.