In 2016, when Trump ran against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, some Republicans publicly endorsed the Democrat, vowing to do all they can to defeat their own party’s nominee. Their efforts failed and the commander-in-chief remains exceptionally popular among Republican voters.
But according to GOP operative Tim Miller, history will not repeat itself. Miller is a member of Bill Kristol’s Republican Voters Against Trump.
“I think it’s qualitatively different. A lot of people who opposed [Trump] did the whole, ‘Oh, Hillary’s also bad, and Trump’s bad, and everybody can vote their conscience’ kind of thing.”
Unlike in 2016, Miller said there is now an “organized effort” to make sure Trump does not win.
Some groups are focused exclusively on supporting Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
43 Alumni for Biden, a group that consists of former Bush administration officials such as John Farner, Kristopher Purcell and Karen Kirksey, was launched earlier this month. As Farner put it, the group’s aim is to “do whatever we can to elect Joe Biden as president.”
“We may not be fully on board with the Democratic agenda, but this is a one-issue election. ‘Are you for Donald Trump, or are you for America,'” Purcell said.
Furthermore, a group of Republican national security officials has come together to advocate against Trump. Some of the still-unnamed organization’s most prominent members are former President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser Ken Wainstein and former State Department official John Bellinger III.
The group will not explicitly back Biden, but it will encourage Republican voters to either support the former vice president or vote for a third party candidate.
Colleen Graffy, who is also a member, noted that some Republican officials are still wary about opposing the president, because they fear retribution.
Perhaps the best-known Republican group opposed to the commander-in-chief, the Lincoln Project, has already garnered national attention thanks to its advertisements.
In one of its most recent ads, the group accused Trump of working for the Russian government. The video clip was entirely in Russian and suggested that Vladimir Putin has, once again, endorsed Trump for President of the United States.
In a similar ad last week, the super PAC accused the president of betraying American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.
Prominent members of the Lincoln Project include former Republican Party strategist Rick Wilson, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway, and GOP operative John Weaver.