July 27, 2020
By Joe Rothstein
Pop quiz: What do these web sites have in common?
Answer: They all are home base for Republicans trying to erase the scourge known as Donald Trump from the White House, and from their political party.
Nearly all partisan campaigns set up straw man groups to float the notion that they have support in the opposite political party. These anti-Trump groups are not straw people. The Lincoln Project’s founders include Kelly Ann Conway’s husband, George Conway, and leading lights and campaign strategists from the Romney and McCain presidential campaigns. The 43 Alumni group consists of those who worked in George W. Bush’s administration. Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT.org), is an offshoot of a group founded by influential pre-Trump Republican conservatives, including Bill Kristol.
Not straw man groups, and not paper tigers, either. They are raising tens of millions of dollars, pulling no punches in their attacks, and are being managed by experienced political pros.
The Lincoln Project raised nearly $20 million in the first half of this election year, more than many Democratic PACs. It has produced and aired some of the most hard-hitting and creative media ads of this or any political campaign. In early July, The Lincoln Project held a virtual town hall and 10,000 people showed up. The group claims it has 3,000 volunteers in Michigan alone and is developing a ground campaign in other swing states.
Republican Voters Against Trump has launched a $10 million digital campaign targeting voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona. The group has recorded hundreds of video testimonials from Republicans who voted for Trump in 2016 but who say they will cross over and vote for Biden this year.
Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s former White House communications director, and Matt Borges, a former chair of the Ohio Republican party, have formed a separate anti-Trump group, The Right Side PAC. Joe Walsh, a former South Carolina Republican congressman has launched thebraveryproject.com, aimed at mobilizing veterans for Biden. In this time of coronavirus-induced recession, anti-Trump Republican political action groups seem to be one of the only growth industries.
Most of those now active in trying to defeat Trump were never for him in the first place. Because their 2016…