Image via screengrab
Image via screengrab

The new ad, titled “Mourning in America,” blasted Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis and highlighted the devastating public health and economic toll of the pandemic.

While most people on the East Coast were in bed at 12:46 AM on Tuesday morning, President Trump was rage-tweeting about a group of “Never Trump” Republicans over an ad they released on Monday.

The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Super PAC founded by a group of former Republican strategists and named after President Abraham Lincoln, launched in late 2019 with the goal of preventing Donald Trump from being re-elected. On Monday, they released a video ad inspired by Ronald Reagan’s infamous 1984 “Morning in America” ad.

The new ad, titled “Mourning in America,” blasted Trump’s response to the coronavirus and highlighted the devastating public health and economic toll of the pandemic.

“The Lincoln Project video highlights the effects of President Trump’s failure as a President and how he’s left the nation weaker, sicker, and teetering on the verge of a new Great Depression,” said Jennifer Horn, co-founder of The Lincoln Project. “Americans are not only mourning the loss of each other, they are mourning the loss of their routine, families, and livelihoods. Trump and his administration failed at every turn to take the response to COVID-19 seriously until it was too late; now we face a collective mourning for the America we once knew.”

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Trump was predictably infuriated by the ad and blasted the Lincoln Project as a group of “RINO Republicans”—or, Republicans in Name Only. 

“A group of RINO Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago, have copied (no imagination) the concept of an ad from Ronald Reagan, “Morning in America”, doing everything possible to…….get even for all of their many failures,” Trump wrote in two tweets.

Trump then singled out members of the group, including George Conway, the husband of Trump’s senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, calling him a “deranged loser” and referring to him as “Moonface,” a term that several observers pointed out is sometimes used as a racial slur against Asians. Conway’s mother is of Filipino descent

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Conway responded by highlighting Trump’s apparent disregard for dying Americans. “I guess we know what keeps the president of the United States up at night,” Conway tweeted. “It isn’t the Americans who are dying once every 45 seconds of covid-19.”

More than 1.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and nearly 70,000 have died of the virus. 

Beyond blowing off steam, the only thing Trump accomplished with his rage-tweets was giving the ad far more daylight than it otherwise would have had. At the time Trump tweeted, only about 214,000 people had watched one version of the ad on Twitter. By Tuesday morning, that number had surged to 2.4 million. Another 4.7 million have watched the ad in a different post on the platform, bringing the total views on Twitter to over 7 million and counting. Nearly 420,000 people have watched it on YouTube, and over 90,000 have also viewed it on Facebook.

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The group isn’t just running anti-Trump advertisements. They’ve also produced ads supporting the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden, and endorsed Biden for president last month in a Washington Post op-ed. 

“We’ve never backed a Democrat for president,” they wrote. “But Trump must be defeated.”