New Lincoln Project ad lampoons ‘poser’ Ron DeSantis’ ‘Top Gun’ messaging

LP Top Gun DeSantis
'Top Gun? This guy? Ron DeSantis is no Maverick.'

Florida’s Governor has spent much of the summer yoking his campaign to the reboot of “Top Gun: Maverick.” But for one group of critics, it’s been more like “Flop Gun” instead.

A new 30-second spot from the Lincoln Project, pithily titled “Poser,” unfavorably compares DeSantis to leaders in bygone times and their efforts in wartime, using the Governor’s latest homage (“Top Gov”) to the Tom Cruise film as a hook, with which they skewer the ad’s central concept.

“Republican leaders, bold men who took to the skies in service of America,” begins the voiceover, which lauds the wartime efforts of former President George H.W. Bush and former U.S. Sen. John McCain, before introducing DeSantis as an unfavorable comparison.

“‘Top Gun’ Ron DeSantis flew this,” the ad says, showing a picture of a work desk, a seeming allusion to his legal work in the military.

“Top Gun? This guy? Ron DeSantis is no Maverick,” the narrator closes. “He’s just a poser.”

The DeSantis ad launched on Primary Day, a move designed to sync with the streaming release of the summer blockbuster, as he told a national audience this week on Fox and Friends.

“So we came out with the Top Gov when the movie came out,” DeSantis explained. “The merchandise did really well. Now, because it’s coming out on streaming today, we figured there would be more interest in it. So I figured, ‘How could we do it?’”

The ad shows DeSantis explaining the art of “dogfighting” with “the corporate media,” with spliced-in footage of DeSantis belittling TV reporters along with shots of the Governor in a flight suit.

Comparisons of the ultimate effect of the visual have ranged, with numerous DeSantis critics striking unfavorable comparisons to 1988 Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, who did a photo op in a tank with a military helmet on ahead of his loss to Bush later that year.

DeSantis has been co-branding around “Top Gun: Maverick” all summer, offering various assertions about the world that he somehow found a way to relate to the movie.

DeSantis, appearing on the Aug. 13 episode of the Glenn Beck Show, blasted the Department of Defense for not living up to the standards of the film.

“I take my son to watch ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ right? And you’re proud of seeing the pilots and all that. Then in real life, what’s the Navy doing? They’re focusing on pronouns and all these other things, this woke garbage, while China’s laughing at us,” DeSantis lamented.

He even lauded the movie on spec, before he saw it.

“I do want to see it at some point. I think it’s just, you know, it’s like any movie that’s not, like, overwhelmingly woke can actually appeal to normal people,” DeSantis said on June 9.

Later that month, DeSantis invoked the movie in contending he doesn’t poll.

“Too many politicians, they get paralyzed by these polls,” he continued. “A leader needs to understand where ‘true north’ is. You know, have you guys seen ‘Top Gun: Maverick‘? The Navy, like, we always know where true north is. … These ships are out there, you’ve got these planes landing on the carrier, the jets,” DeSantis said, calling their efforts “really impressive” in remarks to the Boys State Program.

For DeSantis, the brand synergy has offered a convenient narrative hook, though it is one the new ad calls into question.

DeSantis was a commissioned U.S. Navy JAG Officer deployed in the global war on terror as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL Commander in support of the SEAL mission in Iraq, where DeSantis earned a Bronze Star.

See the new Lincoln Project spot below.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Tom

    August 26, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    Meaningless add, Lincoln is a laughing stock.
    Will face same fate as their failed efforts in Virginia. Just a joke of a company.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 26, 2022 at 1:15 pm

      Get out of here you idiot. Go back to the woods and make bombs or whatever in the hell you people do these days.

    • Tom

      August 28, 2022 at 9:18 am

      As usual America’s Top Gov wins.
      Whiz kid Gov, whizzes upon you all.
      Busting soros Manchurians balls and other anatomy.
      So jealous, so pathetic. Enjoy.
      Clown show, chameleon and Union hack mats. Losers!

    • James Madison

      August 28, 2022 at 10:32 am

      It worked against Trump. Many republicans voted for Biden then republican down the ballot. This will be no different.

    • Nancy J Chapin

      August 28, 2022 at 12:09 pm

      You can’t handle the truth.

  • David

    August 26, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    They are not mocking just one veteran (or active duty military). They are mocking the 90% of all who have ever served in other than a combat role.

    • Ken Luberger

      August 27, 2022 at 9:44 am

      U was a lousy lawyer. De Santis always flirts with stolen valor. A real dick!

    • Tjb

      August 27, 2022 at 10:03 am

      Yea, I still remember when our last president called our veterans and soldiers “loser and suckers” for serving. I did not hear DeSantis condemning Trump for dishonoring those who served our country.

      • Bill

        August 29, 2022 at 7:54 am

        Funny how quickly people forget. John McCain, gold star families. Cadet bone spurs insulted service members and they all just gave him a pass.

    • marylou

      August 27, 2022 at 2:18 pm

      only the ones wearing their kid’s Halloween Costume in August

    • Roni

      August 27, 2022 at 8:21 pm

      DeathSantis is a rancid boil on the history and pride of America.

    • Maureen Thorburn

      August 28, 2022 at 11:11 am

      NOPE! Absolutely not. Those that make up the 90% did actual service, endured more than we’ll ever imagine, paid the price…they didn’t just come home, don a leather jacket and pretend to be a fighter pilot. Have some respect for our veterans!

    • Lee (Bear) Clymer

      September 1, 2022 at 4:34 pm

      As a veteran I respectfully don’t see it that way. What I do see is a man. a politician, representing himself as a combat veteran. He is technically lying and to me that is a very deep, and unforgiveable insult. It’s true, I don’t like him. He is a bully and a horribly bad governor who refuses to accept anyone that takes a stance against him, and comes down with all the power of the office when he should be listening to other valid opinions of the citizens he should support and not just his constituency.

  • PeterH

    August 26, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Todays Trump MAGA clowns like to label any Republican who doesn’t agree with the failed policies of Trumpism “RINOS”…..

    The truth of the matter is this:

    1. Trumpistas are in no way shape or form CONSERVATIVE.

    2. Trump’s MAGA crowd are the authentic RINOS.

    Today’s Republican Party must be destroyed before it has any potential for future relevance. Today’s Republican Party needs to be purged of all the DeSantis crazies, JD Vance crazies, Oz crazies, Walker incompetents, all of the Arizona Trumpsters, Ron Johnson etc.


    • Jeremy

      August 30, 2022 at 9:08 am

      There is nothing conservative, in any sense, about what they are pushing.

  • Whanker

    August 26, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    One of the best things I have seen. Hysterical. These bastards need to be called out for their bullshit lies.

  • Orlin

    August 26, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    Lol, this exposes them as anti-Republican.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 26, 2022 at 3:44 pm

      The MAGA movement is anti Republican…

      • Mm

        August 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm

        Yeh, making America Great is terrible…

    • Tom

      August 26, 2022 at 5:48 pm

      Yes Orlon and whanker.
      They are liberal apologists.
      They don’t care nor support conservatives. Just liberals.
      They got the ass kicked in Virginia.
      Spent $500,000 too.
      Just a joke. I whiz on the Dums all day long.

      • Charlie Crist

        August 26, 2022 at 8:19 pm

        ^ Victim of Fat Cammack face sit, head smash, brain now flat like pancake.

      • M

        August 27, 2022 at 12:59 pm

        Is English your third language or your fourth, comrade? Hard to tell lol

      • James Madison

        August 27, 2022 at 8:48 pm

        Check out Virginia’s governor approval ratings now. In the tank. Glad Va is one term for Gov. He never would have a second term.

  • Jimmy Jordan

    August 26, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    You can’t take people seriously when they use the word ‘Woke’. It’s the 2022 equivalent of screaming ‘Benghazi’ or ‘Obamacare’ 10 years ago. Meaningless, except to the people they want to make angry.

    • Mm

      August 26, 2022 at 7:32 pm

      Yep, a trillion dollar boondoggle and dead abandoned Americans were such a thing to laugh at.

    • James Madison

      August 27, 2022 at 8:51 pm

      DuhSatan can’t finish a sentence without saying the word “woke”. It’s his favorite “buzz word’. It’s cute as all the republican “buzz words” are.

  • tom palmer

    August 26, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    I don’t know what the guy was trying to prove.

  • Mm

    August 26, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    He’s still head and shoulders above anti-American democrats.

    • Bruce

      September 1, 2022 at 1:58 am

      What’s funny is you are the folks that are attacking our long standing institutions. If anyone is destroying America it is you.

  • Carol

    August 26, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    Would be humorous if he gets hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit……

    • JJ

      August 27, 2022 at 2:52 pm

      THAT would make me happy!

  • John Barron

    August 28, 2022 at 3:59 am

    Omg he looks JUST LIKE Dukakis in that helmet lol. I guess after all these decades Dukakis still happens

    • Bill

      August 29, 2022 at 7:59 am

      First as tragedy, then as farce as they say. I think that was the funniest thing I saw all week.

  • Coolbreeze

    August 28, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    Fuck the GOP and the morons that think we’re going to let them ever win again, you’re done, the sad truth is that you’re the real snowflakes, such whiner, hypocrite, sour grape losers, uh, buh bye 🖕

    • Tom

      August 29, 2022 at 3:00 pm

      Cool breeze, better yet, dush bag!
      Loser, watch those providing concession speech.
      Dumings, and chameleon will be doing so. Ok Dush bag.

  • Mastershredder

    September 3, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    I love his huge cow face crammed into that can.
    He absolutely would not pass a flight physical. This IS full on service embellishment and in this case ALSO stolen valor because he’s portraying himself as a brown-shoe trained in a field in which he has no expertise (at all) and aims to PROFIT off of it for his own personal gain via him willing/blind/ignorant constituents.

    He may as well have said he was a Navy Seal and killed bin laden himself. Even if this is s cringy add for a fat man, those who don’t know his history will assume he is/was a pilot in the USN (oh yeah, left out hot shot lol). In our eyes you are that same “guy” boosting a faux persona with lies for adoration and respect. It’s disgusting. What a pos. Sickeningly enough, people vote for that kind “guy” because they need something they can relate to.

Comments are closed.


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