A new ad from the conservative anti-Trump political group, the Lincoln Project, has gone viral with more than four million views. Although the group typically targets President Trump, the new ad is focused on South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally.
The ad mocks Graham for the fundraising woes he has been experiencing in his Senate race and parodies anti-animal-cruelty videos, even featuring a sampling of Sarah McLachlan’s song “Angel” as many of those commercials do.
Graham is facing a tight Senate race against Democrat challenger Jamie Harrison.
The New Ad Parodying Graham’s Fundraising Woes Patterns Itself After ASPCA Ads
Every single hour in South Carolina, Lindsey Graham is being violently out-fundraised.
But you can help stop the suffering. pic.twitter.com/9rDS5naJ4V
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) September 25, 2020
As Sarah McLachlan sings, “In the arms of the angel,” Lindsey Graham’s face fades in from black. Then a captioned screen says, “Every single hour in South Carolina, Lindsey Graham is violently out-fundraised.”
More shots of B-roll footage show Lindsey Graham speaking in the Senate and riding in his car, before another captioned screen says, “Lindsey Graham won in 2014,” followed by one which reads, “But this year, it might be too late.”
Next, a female voiceover then comes over the B-roll footage and says, “For just pennies a day, you could save Lindsey Graham’s Senate race.” A banner at the bottom of the screen then appears, featuring the words, “SaveLindsey.com” with a phone number and a disclaimer that reads, “Disclaimer. All of this money goes to Lincoln Project. This is an obvious parody.”
The video continues, playing a clip of Graham saying, “Help me, they’re killing me money-wise. Help me.” The female voiceover returns, saying “Call right now and you’ll be given this picture of Lindsey Graham enjoying a hot dog.” Another clip of Graham plays, where he is saying, “I am being killed financially.”
The voiceover says, “Lindsey Graham needs you” before another clip of Graham plays, where he is saying, “Five or ten bucks from half your audience would fill in the gap.”
“Only you can stop the suffering. Please call,” the voiceover says at the end of the ad.
The Lincoln Project’s ad is strikingly — and likely, intentionally — similar to ads from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which feature the same song from McLachlan and show footage of sad, shivering and injured animals being rescued, ostensibly with the help of funds from donors.
You can compare for yourself how similar they are:
The commercial has played so many times that McLachlan herself now says she can’t even watch her own commercials, telling the Huffington Post, “I change the channel. I can’t even look at it, it’s so depressing.”
Graham Is Facing Democrat Jamie Harrison in His South Carolina Senate Race
Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is facing Democrat Jamie Harrison in a race that is tighter than many anticipated. In response to that, Graham has gone on two talk shows on FOX News to implore viewers to donate to his campaign.
The Washington Post reported that he went on Fox & Friends and said, “My opponent [Democrat Jaime Harrison] will raise almost $100 million. I’m being killed financially. This money is ’cause they hate my guts,” he said. According to Politico, he then went on Sean Hannity’s show and said, “I’m getting overwhelmed. LindseyGraham.com. Help me. They’re killing me, money-wise. Help me. You helped me last week — help me again. LindseyGraham.com.”
Politico reported that in the second quarter, Harrison brought in a total of more than $25 million compared to Graham’s roughly $15 million; since then Harrison has brought in more than $15 million and raised $2 million in 48 hours in September, according to Politico.
A Quinnipiac University poll put Graham and Harrison in a dead heat.
The ad has been retweeted more than 24,000 times and has received more than 80,000 likes. Many in responding to it, have not been sympathetic to Graham’s fundraising issues; one person tweeted, “I’m just concerned if we give him money he might not want to work anymore. That was his argument against extending unemployment so…”
The Lincoln Project Has Ramped up Its Efforts as the Election Nears Closer
The Lincoln Project is a conservative-led political action committee dedicated to removing President Trump from office, according to its homepage. The PAC was announced by Conway, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson and John Weaver in December 2019 in a New York Times article.
The group seems to have admittedly changed from its roots of merely getting Trump out of office. That list of those whom the group wants to unseat include all Trump-supporting candidates and at least one member of the group is also advocating for the rebuilding of the Republican platform to attract more Black, Latino and Asian voters.
With at least $20 million in the bank, its members have said that they want to be part of a resounding backlash against “Trumpism,” and continue to use political attack ads to achieve that goal.
Real Clear Politics reported that The Lincoln Project plans on releasing an ad called “Fallen Heroes” that will run in mid-October and slam Trump for comments he is accused of making about the military, including calling veterans “losers” and “suckers.”
Trump once railed against the group in a Twitter thread following the airing one of their ads titled, “Mourning in America.”
….because they don’t know how to win, and their so-called Lincoln Project is a disgrace to Honest Abe. I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad. John Weaver lost big for Kasich (to me). Crazed Rick Wilson….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2020
The Wall Street Journal reported that an affiliate of the group plans to spend $10 million in an ad campaign targeted at suburban women in the swing states of Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
“If you have the broad argument the Democrats are the political party or liberal, the idea of having a center-right party is very appealing,” co-founder Wilson said in an interview on C-Span on September 24. “We don’t know what the end of the cycle looks like but you’re going to be stuck with Trumpism for a while … Donald Trump has fundamentally poisoned the brand of the Republican party.”