Lincoln Democracy Institute ad warns No Labels third-party ticket will help Donald Trump win

No Labels Trump 1
‘It’s not "No Labels." It’s no values.’

A new TV spot from the Lincoln Democracy Institute is blasting the bipartisan political group No Labels over its plan to potentially fund a third-party “unity ticket” for the 2024 presidential race.

All that will accomplish, the ad says, is putting Donald Trump back in the White House.

“Their own internal polling shows that (their) efforts will produce a second term for Donald Trump,” a voiceover in the one-minute ad says. “But this is nothing new for No Labels. They’ve been running cover for corrupt politicians for years.”

Founded in 2010 with a stated mission of supporting centrism amid increasingly polarizing politics, No Labels bills itself as an “intellectually open” organization focused on finding “commonsense solutions for all of American problems.”

That all sounds good on a sticker, the ad says, but No Labels’ staffing and fundraising imply less-than-noble aims.

“They’re supported by right-wing megadonors like Harlan Crow, a man whose priorities include funding (Supreme Court Justice) Clarence Thomas’ lavish lifestyle — his sugar daddy. They’ve staffed up with people from Trump’s corrupt administration,” the voiceover says. “It’s not ‘No Labels.’ It’s no values.”

The ad is running “heavily” Monday on WMUR, a Manchester station that broadcasts ABC programming to most of New Hampshire.

It’s also being geofenced to Saint Anselm College, where No Labels is hosting a town hall event featuring Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, and the popular Puritan Backroom restaurant where the group will hold a pre-event launch lunch.

Mobile billboard trucks will circle both venues while playing the ad.

The town hall, the first of a series under the title “Common Sense,” will also include former Democratic-turned-independent former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the group’s Co-Chair, as well as former North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, former Republican U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and civil rights leader Ben Chavis.

Manchin, who in recent years has achieved notoriety within his party for blocking Democratic bills, including climate-focused measures, is reportedly at the top of No Labels’ list of potential presidential candidates.

“If enough Americans believe there is an option and the option is a threat to the extreme Left and extreme Right, it will be the greatest contribution to Democracy, I believe,” he told The Washington Post.

Asked if he’d run on a No Labels ticket, he replied, “I don’t rule myself in and I don’t rule myself out.”

Other possibilities include Independent U.S. Sen. Krysten Sinema and former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who serves as national Co-Chair of the Republican Party.

Whoever it is, No Labels by late June had already raised “about two-thirds” of the $70 million it may spend on the ticket, Ryan Clancy, the group’s chief strategist, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Americans like choices,” he told the Post.

“We are heading down a road where both parties could be looking at the public and saying, ‘Yeah, two-thirds of you don’t want this choice but too bad. It’s your only choice and you’ll like it,’” he said. “We think you can do better.”

The group has described the plan as an “insurance policy” against the two major parties nominating “unacceptable” candidates next year. It’s already gained ballot access in Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Arizona, where Democrats have sued to keep its candidates off the ballot.

But according to Lieberman, No Labels is “not in this to be spoilers” and will abort its plan to run a presidential campaign if it’s determined the move will do little more than hamper the campaign of President Joe Biden or his opponent.

“If the polling next year shows, after the two-parties have chosen their nominees, that in fact we will help one or another candidate, we’re not going to get involved,” he said.

Several political experts have said No Labels will do to Biden what other third-party efforts did to the re-election bid of former Republican President George H.W. Bush and the campaigns of Democrats Hillary Clinton and Al Gore.

“If No Labels runs Joe Manchin against Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think it will be a historic disaster,” Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, until now a strong supporter of the group, told the New York Times. “And I speak for just about every moderate Democrat and frankly most of my moderate Republican friends.”

William Galston, a Brookings Institute policy scholar and No Labels co-founder, said in a statement last week that he is leaving the group over its 2024 plan.

“I am proud of No Labels’ record of bipartisan legislation, and I know its leaders want what is best for the country. But I cannot support the organization’s preparation for a possible independent presidential candidacy,” he said.

“There is no equivalence between President Biden and a former President who threatens the survival of our constitutional order. And most important, in today’s closely divided politics, any division of the anti-Trump vote would open the doors to his re-election.”

In a New Hampshire Union Leader op-ed published less than 24 hours before the town hall, members of the Lincoln Project, a sister organization of the Lincoln Democracy Institute, called No Labels’ plan a “quixotic mission” with a warped perspective on next year’s presidential race.

“No Labels sees Joe Biden and Donald Trump as equivalent — that they’re both equally bad for the American people,” Lincoln Project co-founders Reed Galen and Rick Wilson wrote with retired New Hampshire management consultant Jo Jordon.

“They are not. Joe Biden is a normal President doing normal things as a normal Democrat. Donald Trump is an authoritarian, would-be tin pot dictator, who’s already attempted to overthrow the government once.”

They added, “The story No Labels wants to tell you now is that they are the group to reorder American politics. They want to tell you that they’ve figured out how to choose a candidate who can appeal to 40% of American voters. They want to tell you they can reorder an electoral map that changes only slightly every four years. What they won’t tell you, and what matters most, is their efforts, even in failure, will help Donald Trump return to the White House. Why would anyone risk that?”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • My Take

    July 17, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    Biden is obviously safer thanTrump
    But what about Trump and DeSantis?
    Who really would be the worse president?
    Both very bad, but who worse?
    And how/why?

    • Earl Pitts American

      July 17, 2023 at 8:02 pm

      Got ya My Take,
      Heres the skinny on the 2024 election. The down and dirty. The condensed version. The no over thinkers guide.
      And heeeere we go:
      All you need pay attention to is one thing. Thats right My Take one thing and one thing only.
      One thing:
      1). Who the RNC nominee is.
      a). If Trump: Biden wins (remember last time).
      b). If Desantis: Biden looses.
      Thats it My Take.
      You are welcome My Take,
      Earl Pitts “Political Prognosticater” American

  • Luis C

    July 17, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    The Lincoln Project is against the The No Labels Party?
    That’s all the convincing I need, The No Labels Party is what America needs right now

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 17, 2023 at 7:23 pm

    What’s the problem again with Joe Biden? He’s not real inspiring, but he doesn’t need to inspire voter turnout. Trump and the SCROTUS are handling that for him.

  • My Take

    July 18, 2023 at 3:53 am

    America’s ‘MussoIini Moment’ as some wag put it. Speaking about Trump and 2024, but half true for DeSSantis too. Though Rhonda would be more tin-pot. Poppa Doc Idi Amin.

  • Earl Pitts"Dont Whizz Off Earl" American

    July 18, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    So basically we got 2 groups:
    1. Lincoln Democracy Institute
    2. No Labels
    Both of which no one haa ever heard of before in their entire €ffin lives.
    And we are taking this $HlT as something serious, real, and relevant?
    My Big ‘Ole 8UTT.
    Earl Pitts American

  • Linc Kohn

    July 19, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    The shows the Lincoln Project for what it is: a Demo pup shop.

Comments are closed.


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