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'Trump is a singular danger': The president faces unprecedented opposition — from his own party

Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

"I am ashamed to this day for voting for him."

"Donald J. Trump has broken my faith in the Republican Party."

"He's a pathological liar."

The pained testimony of more than a dozen Republican voters -- who go on to explain why they plan to vote for Democrat Joe Biden -- filled an ad that ran on Fox News last weekend. In the 60-second spot, one man concludes, "It's OK to change your mind. We did."

The message could've come from a Democratic playbook. But it was created by Republican Voters Against Trump, one of several GOP groups aiming to deny the president a second term by encouraging just enough disaffected Republican voters that it is in the best interest of the nation to support Biden.

"Trump is a singular danger as far as I'm concerned," said Tim Miller, a senior advisor to the group who previously worked for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and the Republican National Committee. "Joe Biden can win this election by just improving on Hillary (Clinton)'s performance among traditional Republican voters who sat it out, voted third party or held their nose and voted for Trump."

 

No president in modern history has faced such organized opposition to his reelection by members of his own party.

In addition to the Republican Voters group, which counts conservative writer Bill Kristol among its leaders, there is the Lincoln Project, whose co-founders include George Conway, husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway. That group is the agent provocateur of the bunch, nimbly turning around ads that have drawn the president's ire. Former Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci is supporting the Right Side PAC. Former George W. Bush administration staffers launched the 43 Alumni for Biden super PAC; another group features Republican national security experts.

The groups plan different tactics aimed at a shared goal: moving a small segment of Trump voters who soured on the president into Biden's column on Nov. 3.

"We're all in this together. We are allies, and we all see our efforts as complementary. We all have our own ways of prosecuting our case against the president," said Reed Galen, a top advisor to the Lincoln Project who previously worked for George W. Bush, the late Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "The Lincoln Project does its best to ... take him on in a very direct manner that keeps him and his campaign off balance politically."

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