The minute-long ad takes aim at Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the president’s leadership skills. In the video, Trump’s statement that he does not “take responsibility at all” for the lack of COVID-19 testing is juxtaposed with footage of late Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
As the voice-over points out, Eisenhower, who led the Allied forces in World War II, was ready to take responsibility if the D-Day operation failed. The former president even had a speech ready in case the operation fails. “Great leaders prepare for every eventuality. The hope for the best, but they prepare for the worst,” the voiceover says as parallels between Trump and Eisenhower are drawn.
The narrator then says “isn’t it time America returned to a different kind of leadership.”
The Lincoln Project’s latest ad will start airing digitally on Saturday. Starting on Tuesday, it will be broadcast on television markets across the nation.
The clip of Trump stating that he does not take responsibility for the mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic has already been used by his political opponents. Notably, former Vice President Joe Biden used a similar clip in one of his attack ads. Trump has pushed back against such criticism, arguing that his decision to ban travel to and from China — where COVID-19 is thought to have originated — saved millions of lives.
The Lincoln Project has previously released similar attack ads. The group consists of some of the nation’s most prominent “Never Trump” conservatives, including former Republican Party strategists Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, and John Weaver. George Conway, the husband of senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, is also a member.
Trump has taken note of the Lincoln Project’s activities. Last month, after the group launched an advertisement criticizing his handling of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the president called them a “group of RINO Republicans who failed badly.”
Trump is not the only Republican the Lincoln Project has taken aim at. Last week, the group released an ad attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In response to the advertisement, McConnell’s spokesperson, Kate Cooksey, said that “no scam PAC of grifters has ever been less relevant and no group of consultants will be forgotten faster than this group of thieves who bet everything on three days of dishonest ads in Kentucky.”