Conservative advocacy group The Lincoln Project is again taking on President Donald Trump’s leadership in a new political ad titled “War Zone.” The YouTube version of the ad carries this description: “Trump is no longer hiding that he’s a brazen authoritarian, so desiring of control and power that he’s willing to turn our once peaceful cities into #warzones.”
At the start of the ad, as an Associated Press headline—“Trump took shelter in White House bunker as protests raged”—flashes on the screen, an announcer says “When Donald Trump came out of hiding this week, he didn’t do it to bring us together or heal the nation. He wasn’t there to offer words of calm and comfort. Instead, he became what we always feared.” A 1967 declaration by a racist Miami police chief (who notoriously endorsed police brutality) appears on screen: “...when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump used that exact wording in a tweet last Friday that was widely condemned for inciting violence.
As scenes of strife and additional news headlines flash on screen, the announcer continues, saying that Trump “evoked the worst of our past, threatened our governors and states. He ordered our own soldiers, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, to flood the streets, instructing them to turn against Americans. Used churches and the Holy Bible as political props. He didn’t invoke the Lord to give us wisdom, but to boost his polls. Ordered an attack on unarmed protesters using gas, rubber bullets and flash grenades. Washington transformed into a war zone for this coward. This is a time for choosing: America or Trump.”
As Ad Age previously reported, The Lincoln Project launched in December with an op-ed in The New York Times headlined “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated” (subhead: “The president and his enablers have replaced conservatism with an empty faith led by a bogus prophet”). The NYT bio line for the op-ed’s four authors—George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson—noted that they “have worked for and supported Republican campaigns.” Conway is married to Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president in the Trump White House. “I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface,” Trump tweeted last month in the wake of the release of another Lincoln Project ad, “but it must have been really bad.”
Trump’s public anger about that earlier anti-Trump ad, titled “Mourning in America,” helped it go viral.