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12 Aug, 2021 18:31

‘Psychotic even for the Lincoln Project’: Attack ad against anti-mask GOP governors gets slated for using kids as political tool

‘Psychotic even for the Lincoln Project’: Attack ad against anti-mask GOP governors gets slated for using kids as political tool

The Lincoln Project has drawn ire for a “psychotic” attack ad against anti-mask mandate Republican governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, which accused them of asking people to “sacrifice” their children “for the economy.”

On Wednesday, the controversial anti-Donald Trump group released the roughly 30-second ad that targets both Texas Governor Abbott and Florida Governor DeSantis over their supposed lack of concern about child welfare. Both have railed against mask mandates in schools in recent weeks.

The ad, titled ‘Back to School’, opens with masked children in school and the words “This is where your child should be this fall,” before cutting to visuals of a young person undergoing a respiratory physiotherapy procedure to help clear the lungs with the text “This is where they could be.” 

Set to ominous music, the ad then asks, “If you could prevent this, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t anyone?” as it focuses on black-and-white videos of Abbott and DeSantis speaking into microphones. In the caption accompanying the video, the group states, “First they asked you to sacrifice your grandparents for the economy, now it’s your children.”

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In a subsequent tweet featuring the ad on Thursday, the political action committee staffed by former and present Republicans said that the two governors were “more interested in their 2024 presidential primary campaign[s] than keeping the children of their states safe.”

“GOP governors across the country, like DeSantis and Abbott, are letting their political ambition guide their response to the coronavirus pandemic; creating chaos for parents, kids, teachers and their states’ economies,” Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen said in a statement.

Describing the two governors as “con-men,” Galen said their stance against schools making face masks mandatory was “perhaps their most craven move yet.” He likened their policies to “performance art” to “appease Donald Trump and his anti-mask, anti-vaccine base.”

However, the ad was called out by several social media users for using children as a political tool to make their point and raise funds. Journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted that “only psychopaths would produce an ad like that” and said The Lincoln Project understood “how the minds of the weakest and most pathetic liberals function.”

Those sentiments were echoed by other people, including Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel, who tweeted that the ad was “psychotic even for the Lincoln Project” and advised them to “probably shy away from accusing others of not protecting children.”

Other users reminded The Lincoln Project about the underage victims of its own disgraced co-founder John Weaver, who is alleged to have sexually harassed multiple young men, including a 14-year-old.

A number of people commented that the group was “fear mongering” and using scare tactics, while many, like former talk-show host John Ziegler, tweeted that it was difficult to believe them when they have “jumped the shark so often and so dramatically.”

However, the video had its share of supporters as well with several people labeling DeSantis and Abbott “death merchants” who were “burnishing their pro-Covid anti-democracy bonafides” to get onto the Republican party’s 2024 presidential ticket. 

Some commenters suggested other Republicans who are anti-mask mandates should not get “a free pass” and needed to be added to the list, including Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Utah Governor Spencer Cox.

However, other people said it was ultimately the parents’ responsibility to decide what was best for their children and wished that “politicians, educators, media celebrities and the Lincoln Project” would “stay out of family business.”

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