A new political ad from a conservative group that has pledged to oppose President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has caused the commander-in-chief to lash out on social media against it.
The ad is produced by The Lincoln Project, a group of four conservative political strategists and consultants, including George Conway, husband to Trump’s White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.
The ad, titled “Mourning in America,” borrows a phrase from a famous political advertisement by President Ronald Reagan, but changes the wording from “Morning” to “Mourning,” conveying the disastrous consequences of Trump’s inaction during the earlier stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
“More than 60,000 Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored,” The Lincoln Project’s ad states.
In addition to the human toll the virus has wrought, the ad also points out the economic hardships that tens of millions of Americans are currently facing. It lays much of the blame for those hardships on Trump himself. (As of last week, over 30 million had filed for unemployment.)
“Trump bailed out Wall Street, but not Main Street,” the ad says. Because of Trump, “our country is weaker, and sicker, and poorer.”
“Americans are asking, if we have another four years like this, will there even be an America?” the spot concludes.
The president was not happy with the ad’s overall tone and message, to say the least. Trump expressed his disdain for the advertisement, and called the members of The Lincoln Group “losers” in a series of tweets early Tuesday morning.
“A group of RINO [Republican in name only] Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago, have copied (no imagination) the concept of an ad from Ronald Reagan, ‘Morning in America’, doing everything possible to…get even for their many failures,” Trump wrote.
The president, in subsequent tweets, tried to list what he has accomplished while in office, namely court appointments and his signature tax cuts for the wealthy.
“I didn’t use any of them,” Trump said of the group’s members, “because they don’t know how to win, and their so-called Lincoln Project is a disgrace to Honest Abe.”
“They’re all LOSERS, but Abe Lincoln, Republican, is all smiles,” he added.
Trump’s own characterizations of President Abraham Lincoln have been questioned as of late, too. On Sunday, during a Fox News town hall that was filmed in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Trump suggested he has been treated “worse” than any other president, Lincoln included, by his critics — even though Lincoln was assassinated while in office.
One thing that was noticeably missing from Trump’s Twitter rant, however, was any direct rebuttal to the assertions made in The Lincoln Project’s ad itself.
Trump’s tweets, however, didn’t seem to alarm members of The Lincoln Project. George Conway said he was already planning the name of the group’s next ad in response to Trump’s tirade. “I guess our next ad should be ‘Moron in America,'” he wrote.
The Lincoln Project, it should be noted, is a decidedly conservative organization. Indeed, one of the organization’s many complaints about Trump is over how they view the president as not being conservative enough, writing in The New York Times last year that Trump and his supporters “have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles.” Many of Lincoln Project’s members in this sense appear to advocate for a pre-Trump Republican Party — one that supported massive tax cuts for the wealthy and a hawkish, interventionist foreign policy, and opposed the Affordable Care Act.