Speed Reads

the Lincoln project

The Lincoln Project's inevitable ad on Trump's toxic comments on U.S. troops uses his own slurs against him

After The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg relayed some politically toxic comments President Trump allegedly made about U.S. service members captured or killed in battle — comments confirmed to Fox News, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and CNN, in part or whole — it was just a matter of time before the anti-Trump Republicans at the Lincoln Project turned them into an ad. That ad dropped Tuesday evening, and it relied less on Trump's purported comments than on ones he has made in public, plus his own documented actions (or lack of action, notably).

Per custom, the Lincoln Project does not pull its punches in the "Fallen Heroes" ad. "Donald Trump is a draft dodger, a dishonorable coward unfit to be commander in chief," the narrator begins. Trump's comments about two Republican stalwarts, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former President George H.W. Bush, make up a large part of the rest of the 2-minute ad. His alleged comments about U.S. Marines killed in World War I France being "losers" and "suckers" get a mention, of course, and the final line turns the "loser" line back on Trump: "On Nov. 3, it's time to throw this loser coward out of our White House."

The focus on GOP leaders and military heroism suggests the ad is aimed at similarly Trump-skeptical Republicans. But a lot of the Lincoln Project's advertising is also aimed at an audience of one, and if that is the case, "loser coward" is the intended coup de grâce.