• Anti-Trump Republicans form Lincoln Project which aims to defeat Trump in 2020
  • The Lincoln Project also plans to banish Trumpism and reclaim the conservative soul of the GOP
  • It blasts the GOP for embracing and copying Trump's cruelty and adopting his corruption

Fierce conservative critics of president Donald Trump have launched the "Lincoln Project," a Super PAC aimed at defeating Trump, Trumpism and Trump's Republican Party enablers even at the cost of ceding both Houses of Congress and the presidency to the Democrats.

The Lincoln Project website came online Tuesday, while a manifesto explaining the movement and its aims was published the same day by The New York Times with the headline, "We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated."

The piece was co-authored by George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson, who are all long-time critics of Trump. The four men are joined by Jennifer Horn and Reed Galen. Most of these organizers have left the Republican Party out of dismay with Trump and Trumpism. These seven "Never Trumpers" are members of an advisory council that include some of the GOP’s most vocal Trump critics.

The mission of the Lincoln Project is to “Defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box.” The Lincoln Project is also holding accountable those who would violate their oaths to the Constitution and would put others before Americans.

Because it's a super PAC, the Lincoln Project can raise and spend unlimited sums of money but must disclose its donors. The council reports fundraising commitments exceeding $1 million and hope to raise and spend much more to fund months-long advertising campaigns in a number of 2020 battleground states to persuade Republican voters to vote against Trump’s GOP.

Of more immediate concern, the Lincoln Project will focus on defeating Trump and defeating Trump-allied Senate candidates in a handful of key 2020 battlegrounds. It plans to attain this aim by targeting a small but important part of the electorate: disaffected Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

The Lincoln Project plans to defeat Trump's reelection in the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and also in Arizona and North Carolina. Their Senate efforts likely will concentrate on beating Trump-allied incumbents in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Maine, Kansas and Kentucky.

“You’re seeing a shift from talk into action,” said Galen.

The Lincoln Project faces a really tough uphill climb. Polls show 9 in 10 Republican voters approve of Trump's job performance and have all year, according to Gallup.

The manifesto describes the Lincoln Project as an effort to highlight the country’s story and values, and its people’s sacrifices and obligations. It asks all Americans "to join in the seminal task of our generation: restoring to this nation leadership and governance that respects the rule of law, recognizes the dignity of all people and defends the Constitution and American values at home and abroad."

All these will only come to pass if Trump is defeated in 2020, contend the authors.

"Over these next 11 months, our efforts will be dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line," they wrote."We do not undertake this task lightly, nor from ideological preference. We have been, and remain, broadly conservative (or classically liberal) in our politics and outlooks. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort."

The Lincoln Project also aims to persuade enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts "to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that don’t enable or abet Mr. Trump’s violations of the Constitution, even if that means Democratic control of the Senate and an expanded Democratic majority in the House."

The authors also blasted Congressional Republicans for willingly consenting to become Trump's pawns. They noted with shame that national Republicans have not only marched to Trump’s beat, but their defense of Trump "is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country."

They assailed Congressional Republicans for embracing and copying "Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption." Trump and his enablers have also abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles. They've replaced these tenets with Trumpism, "an empty faith led by a bogus prophet."

Protesters gather on Boston Common near the Massachusetts State House during a rally where over a thousand people stood in the rain and snow, calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump Protesters gather on Boston Common near the Massachusetts State House during a rally where over a thousand people stood in the rain and snow, calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump Photo: AFP / Joseph Prezioso