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Screencap from The Lincoln Project's "Mourning in America" ad,

2020

Lincoln Project targets GOP stronghold with anti-Donald Trump ad

‘Mourning in America’ video will reach Naples voters.

A Republican group opposed to Donald Trump’s reelection will target voters in one of Florida’s most reliably GOP markets with a blunt attack ad.

The controversial “Mourning In America” ad, produced by The Lincoln Project, lays blame for the COVID-19 pandemic at the President’s feet. The group announced Tuesday it was expanding its ad buy in four swing state cities, including Naples.

“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.

“In a time of deep suffering and loss, Donald Trump continues with his failed leadership and his inability to put the country before himself.”

The ad, which will also target voters in Ohio and Wisconsin, paints a dark picture of the consequences of Trump’s presidency.

“Today, more than 60,000 Americans have died from the deadly virus Donald Trump ignored,” a narrator states over images of medical gurneys rolling away from homes.

The language contrasts the divisive record of the sitting President to Republican icon Ronald Reagan, whose reelection campaign in 1984 promoted a different “Morning in America” message. In a highly praised advertisement from that time, the incumbent Reagan was able to boast, “Today, more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history.”

But the new anti-Trump ad assails the Republican incumbent from a public health perspective while also laying responsibility on his shoulders for 26 million Americans being out of work as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This afternoon, millions of Americans will apply for unemployment,” the narration continues. “And with their savings run out, many are giving up hope.”

It’s a blunt message, and one that has already grabbed Trump’s attention.

“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 tweeted after the ad release last week.

The never Trump Republican group will deliver the message to a region in Florida vitally important to Trump’s reelection efforts. Trump won Florida in 2016 by 112,911 votes, or 1.2% of the total vote. That came after netting 44,338 votes in Collier County and 66,643 in neighboring Lee County.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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