One of the founders of the so-called Lincoln Project — a group of former Republicans who’ve gotten a lot of media attention by running ads against President Trump — has been anti-GOP for years, says Sarah Palin.
The former Alaska governor should know, given the fact she used to work with him.
Steve Schmidt was a Republican strategist for John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008 who pushed the nominee to pick Palin as his running mate. He’s now an MSNBC analyst, which is the first step toward becoming the acceptable sort of Republican (or in this case, former Republican) who the Democrats can tolerate.
Now that he’s one of the people behind The Lincoln Project, he’s also known for vicious attacks on Republicans.
He went after Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s Cuban heritage — then, when Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, among others, went after him for it, he said Cruz would have been a toady in Nazi-controlled Vichy France and reiterated his stance that Rubio would have been the kind of person to stick behind in Cuba after Fidel Castro took over because he could have attained power.
Would Cruz? Of course not. We know for certain because we have watched them dance on the pin for 3.5 years now. Had they been in France in 1943 they would have made good Vichy. The Trump era is coming to an end. When we account for the massive injury Trump has done to this
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) August 19, 2020
Appearing on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Wednesday, Palin attacked Schmidt, as well as another non-Lincoln Project McCain alumnus, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, claiming they, and others running the McCain campaign, were “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
The former Alaska governor claimed that “a couple of them didn’t even vote for the ticket.”
Tucker Carlson gives Sarah Palin an opportunity to lash out at Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace. She says there was a lot of sabotage going on there. pic.twitter.com/Mw6QCmX3uH
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) August 20, 2020
At least in the case of Wallace, we know this isn’t inaccurate; George W. Bush’s former communications director has said she didn’t vote in the 2008 election and left politics soon afterward, although she remained a political commentator, showing up on “The View” and now MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”
Palin went after both, telling Carlson they hung her out to dry.
“To think that they were the ones rolling out, for instance, my candidacy, and setting up the interviews,” Palin said. “There was a lot of sabotaging going on there, especially at the end of the game there.
“But look where they are today — I mean, Steve Schmidt, oh my goodness, MSNBC contributor, and Nicolle Wallace, and these folks. They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
“Those of us who were kind of victims of what they’re capable of, it’s kind of vindication for us because, like, see, told you so, they were never on our team to start with.”
Steve Schmidt being Steve Schmidt, he had to roll out an ad hominem social media attack in response.
“Ok. I can’t help it. It has been 12 years since @NicolleDWallace and I had to deal with her paranoia, pathological lying, profound ignorance, brittleness and insanity,” Schmidt said.
“We had to deal with her for 70 days. It has been amazing to watch her soar and prove all her critics wrong,” he added, sarcastically.
“Over the last 12 years. Once she was able to rid herself of the treachery and disloyalty of her staff she soared like an Eagle…. Not.”
Over the last 12 years. Once she was able to rid herself of the treachery and disloyalty of her staff she soared like an Eagle…. Not
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) August 20, 2020
There hasn’t been a particularly funny zinger that began with obviously sarcastic praise followed by the word “… not” since the 1980s and I’m glad to see Steve Schmidt continue the trend. Otherwise, this seems to be proving Palin’s point.
The Lincoln Project is comprised of establishment figures who bet their country-club cred against Trump and got soaked. After wandering in the desert for a while, they’ve now found a way to become relevant — by endorsing and vigorously supporting Joe Biden because he’s a cozy establishment guy like them.
How are you supposed to take people seriously as conservatives when they come out with stuff like this?
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) August 11, 2020
While Schmidt isn’t the most visible of The Lincoln Project members — that would be George Conway, who’s better known for his, um, interesting marital situation than anything he’s accomplished — he’s arguably the most important name on the roster, right up there with fellow former Republican strategist Rick Wilson.
It’s curious to see this sort of reaction from Schmidt, given the fact that Conway has described one of the group’s strengths as poking the president with a stick and seeing if they can annoy him.
“Trump is a narcissist and he cannot help but react to threats to his delicate psyche,” Conway told The Washington Post in an interview published earlier this month, saying that “he can’t think ahead. He merely reacts to things. And what we do is take advantage of both of those psychological defects.”
Apparently, this strategy works with Schmidt, too.
Palin called it like it is: These are and always have been psychological Democrats who pretend to be “principled Republicans” because it gets attention from the media and money from Democrats. Say that and you get a Twitter tirade punctuated by an actual, non-ironic use of “… not” in 2020.
Because that’ll convince soft Republicans that The Lincoln Project has their best interests in mind … not.
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