KEY POINTS

  • A group of longtime GOP consultants are forming a Super PAC to target Trump and his congressional allies in the 2020 election
  • The consultants are calling their PAC the Lincoln Project, drawing inspiration from the first Republican president
  • The Trump campaign's response to the Lincoln Project has been to claim the consultants behind it are "irrelevant."

A group of longtime Republican Party consultants announced this week they are forming a Super PAC engineered to defeat President Donald Trump in next year's election.

The consultants penned a New York Times op-ed making the case for their PAC, called the Lincoln Project, on Monday.

"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," the group wrote in the op-ed, arguing their opposition to Trump's conduct in office necessitates their project. "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 group of four consultants includes mainstays of GOP politics who have for years advised candidates on how to defeat Democratic candidates. One of the four, Rick Wilson, is known for producing a 2002 attack ad featuring Osama bin Laden, which helped bring down then-Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga. Another, Steve Schmidt, previously worked for George W. Bush and John McCain; John Weaver was the chief strategist for the John Kasich presidential campaign. The last of the four, George Conway III is a conservative lawyer whose wife Kellyanne Conway currently serves as counselor to Trump.

Weaver told the Associated Press the group will target swing states like Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In addition to aiming to defeat Trump, they plan to focus on defeating his Senate allies like Sen. Cory Gardener, R-Colo., and Martha McSally, R-Ariz. 

The Trump campaign's response to the Lincoln Project was caustic. Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh called the PAC a "pathetic little club of irrelevant and faux ‘Republicans,’ who are upset that they’ve lost all of their power and influence inside the Republican Party.”