The Lincoln Project, a group of disaffected GOP operatives, took responsibility for a stupid stunt to try to connect Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin to white supremacists. It appears the stunt may have backfired.
A group of tiki-torch clad protestors arrived at a Glenn Youngkin for Governor event in Charlottesville, Virginia and set off a firestorm, evoking images of the controversial “Unite The Right” rally in 2017.
- The aftermath was spent with all sides pointing fingers: The McAuliffe campaign claimed they were legitimate white supremacists (one was Black) who supported Youngkin while the Virginia Democratic Party disavowed any role.
- Eventually, the Lincoln Project, a group of former Republican campaign operatives who banded together to originally fight President Donald Trump after he spurned them for not hiring them, took responsibility for the stunt.
- One of the participants in the protest was identified as a “low-level Democratic operative.”
- The dirty tricks are coming in the final weekend of the campaign just as polls are showing a dead heat, with the latest Fox News poll giving Republican Youngkin a lead over Democrat McAuliffe.
- The Independent highlighted the blowback The Lincoln Project got from what should have been their liberal and Democratic sympathizers, quoting one state legislator telling the former GOP operatives “Don’t come back. Your stunts aren’t welcome here.”
- The Washington Post also detailed criticism of The Lincoln Project and noted their stunt occurred on the first days of the trial for a man who ran over several people during the Unite the Right rally in 2017.
- Vice.com took credit for identifying one of the fake Youngkin supporters as a Democratic operative, resulting in the Lincoln Project being forced to take responsibility.
- The Post Millennial pointed out the reaction of the leader of a liberal group working with the Lincoln Project on this stunt: Lauren Windsor, a Democratic “communications consultant” for Lincoln Project, feigned shock at the revelation of the protestors despite having organized it.
- Real Clear Politics highlighted comments by former Democrat strategist James Carville and GOP operative Stuart Stevens (who is affiliated with The Lincoln Project) defending the bungled stunt on CNN with sexual-assault-apologist Chris Cuomo.
- The New York Post reported on reaction from McAuliffe officials who pushed the protest on Twitter as legitimate supporters of Youngkin.
It is possible this will backfire on The Lincoln Project and help Youngkin propel to a win on Tuesday. Their reputation and track record were abysmal before this stunt, which is only going to make it worse.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021