Speed Reads

2020 ad watch

The Lincoln Project has already dropped John Bolton's bombshells into an anti-Trump ad on China

Say what you want about the conservative anti-Trump super PAC the Lincoln Project, but they are quick on the draw. Reporters started revealing scandalous tidbits from former National Security Adviser John Bolton's tell-all about his time in President Trump's White House on Wednesday, and it didn't take more than a few hours for the Lincoln Project to use one of Bolton's biggest bombshells in a new ad arguing that Trump is continually losing against China — or at least the United States is losing under Trump's dealmaking skills.

China knows "who Donald Trump is — weak, corrupt, ridiculed," the ad claims. "China beats him every time. No matter what he says, China's got his number. Trump even begged Chinese leader Xi to help him win re-election, like a dog." The gratuitous "like a dog" is the Lincoln Project's addition, but the begging for re-election help is from Bolton's copious notes.

Trump has made clear in his own campaign ads, tweets, and public statements that he hopes to hit former Vice President Joe Biden as soft on and subservient to China. Yes, Trump publicly asked China to investigate the Bidens, but he has also "spent months claiming China is secretly working to help his opponent," Jonathan Chait writes at New York. "It seemed as if Trump's motivation for leveling this baseless charge was deflection. ... But it turns out Trump's actual motive was projection."