Lincoln Project’s Ads in Palm Beach County Aimed at Vacationing, TV-watching Trump

December 30, 2020by Anthony Man, South Florida Sun Sentinel (TNS)
Screenshot of Lincoln Project ad running in the Palm Beach media market.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Lincoln Project, which spent much of the year trolling President Donald Trump with TV ads aimed directly at him, is deploying the tactic in South Florida.

Starting Wednesday, if Trump turns on the TV at the two locations he’s spent time at since Dec. 23 — his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach or at the Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach — there’s a chance he’ll see the Lincoln project’s latest.

The ad buying and tracking firm Medium reported that Lincoln Project has bought TV time in the West Palm Beach market from Wednesday through Jan. 5. Trump is scheduled to be in the area until Jan. 3.

A major pillar of the The Lincoln Project’s 2020 strategy was aiming to torment an audience of one — Trump — through advertising on cable shows he’s sure to watch on channels such as Fox News. That’s the aim of the latest effort, which seeks to drive a wedge between Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress at which the electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president will be counted.

Ryan Wiggins, the Lincoln Project’s senior communications adviser, said the organization would spend about $150,000 to air the spot, titled “Pence,” on broadcast TV stations in the West Palm Beach market and on Fox News Channel.

The Lincoln Project, a super PAC formed a year ago by “never Trump” Republicans and former Republicans, repeatedly placed election-year ads on cable TV in Washington, D.C., knowing Trump would see them — and with full knowledge that the TV audience in the nation’s capital wasn’t likely to be at all swayed by political advertising. It’s also bought time when Trump was at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

One ad from the spring was aimed at planting seeds of doubt about Brad Parscale, at the time Trump’s campaign manager, by highlighting the homes and cars Parscale acquired after moving to Fort Lauderdale while on the Trump campaign payroll.

Last week, Axios reported that Trump was bothered by the ad claiming Pence was backing away from the president. Axios said a source said Trump was “complaining about Pence” and brought up the ad, which “has clearly got inside Trump’s head, the source said.”

George Conway, a Lincoln Project co-founder, told New York magazine that “triggering Trump’s paranoia” was useful. “We try to trigger the chaos in Trump’s DNA.”

Rick Wilson, another Lincoln Project co-founder, told a New York magazine podcast that, “We’re working to play into Donald Trump’s whole portfolio, the constellation of psychological weaknesses that Trump displays every day. … Some of the ads are for an audience of one — psychological warfare with Donald Trump.”

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(c)2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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