To paraphrase Auric Goldfinger, “Being successful doesn’t make you many friends, Mr. Bond, but it does greatly increase the class of your enemies.” The Lincoln Project has very successfully launched a number of political attack ads on Donald Trump and his loyalists, and that has drawn rebuttal from Trump’s official super PAC, America First Action. Now here’s where it gets comical: the Trump campaign is accusing the Lincoln Project of being in it only for the money — which makes sense, because that’s what Trump backers are there for. Ask everybody from Kimberly Guilfoyle to Rudy Giuliani to Brad Parscale, whether the message of Trump would have resounded for them, absent what it did to their bank accounts. But no, they would have you believe that they’re in it for reasons of social conscience and it’s the Lincoln Project that’s in it for for mansions and Lamborghinis. Daily Beast:
America First Action, an ostensibly independent outfit supporting the president’s re-election, recently circulated a memo to “interested parties” breaking down the Lincoln Project’s ad spending and the data it’s reported to the Federal Election Commission. The memo, titled “Lincoln Project discrepancies,” purports to demonstrate the exorbitantly high fees that the group’s principals have pocketed as it buys television ads through their consulting firms. […]
According to the memo, which compared spending data reported to the FEC with the values of the group’s ad buys as compiled by the ad tracking service Advertising Analytics, Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen’s firm has taken commissions on those ad buys averaging about 27 percent. […]
Reached by email on Tuesday, Galen told The Daily Beast, “It’s a garbage memo and false.” He did not respond to more specific questions about the data presented by America First.
Now that’s a lot of money to pocket, if true, $27 for each $100 earned. A most impressive commission. We are glad to know that America First is sufficiently motivated by moral outrage that the image of a Republican strategist overreaching during a presidential election, would cause them to take steps to correct such behavior. And we approve. But we wonder why they didn’t start with Brad Parscale, since he was right there under their noses. Or, could it be that this is what’s really bothering them — and not moral outrage?
While the Lincoln Project’s focus on triggering the president makes it a unique case among political advertisers, it’s also expanded its campaign to attack not just Trump but a number of Republican Senators facing difficult reelection contests next month, including Alaska’s Dan Sullivan, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, Maine’s Susan Collins, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, and Arizona’s Martha McSally.
That down-ballot advertising campaign has fueled criticism from some conservatives who say it’s no longer a “Never Trump” group, it’s a “Never Republican” one. The criticism doesn’t appear to have deterred them.
“By the way, message back to America First,” Galen told The Daily Beast in his email on Tuesday. “We are expanding our buys to defeat as many Republican senators as possible and contribute to the complete and total collapse of Trump and Trumpism.”
This is an interesting theater of war to open up three weeks before the election, I must say. If intimidation was America First’s gambit, that seems to have failed. Maybe everybody around Trump has already given up on the election and collateral issues are all they have left? As previously predicted, it’s going to be an insane three weeks. The death throes of Trumpism will not be pretty.