February 27, 2021

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Pressure Mounts on Republicans to Buck Trump

2 min read

“A violent mob attacks the Capitol, incited by power-hungry politicians like Ron Johnson,” a narrator proclaims in the ad, which the party is spending $63,000 to air for a week. “Johnson should resign.”

The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group, has pledged to mount an intense pressure campaign on Republican lawmakers who opposed certifying the election results. And while the group is most focused on the Republican senators up for re-election in 2022, it is also promising to make life difficult for Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, who led the opposition to certifying the results in the Senate.

On Wednesday, the Lincoln Project began airing its first ad attacking Republican members of Congress for their vote against the election results, spending $570,000 on an ad that proclaims “this is your coup” in the home media markets of Mr. Cruz, Mr. Hawley and Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader.

Another group, the Boot Texas Republicans PAC, is taking aim at Mr. Cruz’s donors in Texas. On Wednesday, it began a new campaign called “Defund Cruz” and published a website listing the name of every donor who has contributed more than $1,000 to Mr. Cruz’s political campaigns. The group is aiming to pressure donors to demand their money back.

“Ted Cruz has blood on his hands, and so will his top donors unless they take action now to defund his political career,” Zack Malitz, who was a state director for former Representative Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign and is a founder of Boot Texas Republicans, said in a statement.

For more than four years, the Republican Party base has remained fiercely loyal to Mr. Trump, and many lawmakers are still feeling pressure to toe the Trump line. Less than a day after Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, announced plans to vote to impeach Mr. Trump, a group of her colleagues started moving to oust her from her leadership post.

Mr. Trump has loyalists in the donor community, too.

Doug Deason, a Republican contributor in Texas, said that it was “highly hypocritical of Democrats, and any corporations who have singled out Republicans, to try and force a break with Trump because they believe he incited violence.”

Shane Goldmacher and Nick Corasaniti

2021-01-13 19:10:14

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