Anti-Trump group uses cable ads to tweak ex-president staying at his N.J. golf club

Residents living in and around Bedminster will begin seeing an ad proclaiming how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has stolen Donald Trump’s thunder.

The ad is aimed at one person: the former president.

“We’ve got this thing we call the audience of one, basically getting into Trump’s head,” said Rick Wilson, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican group.

The ads will run on Fox News and the Golf Channel while Trump is spending the warmer months at his Bedminster golf club, just as he did when he was president. Trump spent several months at Bedminster last year as well.

Besides the cable spots, there also will be geographically targeted digital ads.

“We always know where he is and we always know how to get into his brain,’” Wilson said.

CBS News reported that Trump arrived in New Jersey last month and will be here until it turns cooler, at which time he will return to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. That means he could make an appearance at the controversial Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational, scheduled for July 29-31 at Bedminster.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The narrator addresses Trump directly over a series of still photographs and videos: “Ron DeSantis betrayed you to become a star, raising millions by stealing your act.”

“Let him know that Ron DeSantis is coming to eat his political lunch,” Wilson said. “We believe both men represent a dangerous tendency in American political life toward authoritarianism. There’s a benefit to getting Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis in the same bucket where they can fight like a pair of crabs.”

The Lincoln Project spent $39.2 million against Trump in 2020, Federal Election Commission disclosures show. But several key leaders left the group after the election, criticizing how the organization handled charges that co-founderJohn Weaver sent text messages to young men that were sexually explicit.

The group also was criticized for funneling millions of dollars to consulting firms controlled by Lincoln Project leaders.

That hasn’t hindered fundraising. Since the 2020 elections, the organization has raised $21.5 million, FEC filings show.

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Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at Follow him at @JDSalant.

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