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Anti-Trump group runs ad in N.J. in hope ex-president will see it


With Donald Trump again camped out at his Bedminster golf club for the summer, a group of Republicans opposed to the former president has bought time on Fox News and other cable channels in New Jersey to send him a message. The ads began running Tuesday.

The ad by the Lincoln Project tells Trump that his Republican allies have deserted him, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (over video of a turtle).

“They’re turning on you. All of them,” the narrator said.

It’s running on news channels on the cable systems serving Bedminster, where Trump is spending the warmer months as he did when he was president. The ad also will be sent online to those near the golf club.

Rick Wilson, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, said that the group’s efforts have been designed for an “audience of one.”

“It works. We’re able to manipulate the behavior of Donald Trump in a way no other organizations have done. He can’t help himself.”

The ad also is running on the cable systems that serve Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach estate.

“We’re reminding Donald the walls are closing in fast,” said Reed Galen, Lincoln Project co-founder. “His family may be turning on him, while his White House staff is talking to the Jan. 6 committee and the Department of Justice. And now, even his old friends at Fox News are helping Ron DeSantis take over the party and rise in the polls for the 2024 nomination. Donald’s fast becoming a lonely man on an island. There’s no one left for him to trust.”

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

This is the second ad tweaking Trump that the Lincoln Project has put on local cable. Last month, the group aired a commercial proclaiming that DeSantis has stolen Trump’s thunder.

The Lincoln Project spent $39.2 million against Trump in 2020, Federal Election Commission disclosures show. Since the 2020 elections, the organization has raised $24.7 million.

This year, it has funded ads against two strong Trump supporters: Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who succeeded Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as House Republican Conference chair, and against J.D. Vance, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Ohio.

The Lincoln Project had had its own problems. Several key leaders left the group after the 2020 election over its response to charges that co-founderJohn Weaver sent sexually explicit text messages to young men.

And the group faced blowback after sending millions of dollars to consulting firms controlled by its leaders.

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

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