Republican-led group produces attack ad against Sen. Susan Collins for supporting Trump

The Lincoln Project, a group led by disaffected Republicans who want to see President Donald Trump and people they call his “enablers” lose this election year, is spending $1 million in Maine to run TV ads attacking incumbent Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican seeking a 5th term in a race rated a “toss-up” by the Cook Political Report.Rick Wilson, a co-founder of The Lincoln Project, told WMTW, “Susan Collins has made many votes that I am sure I agree with, but she’s made critical votes, the most important votes of her career have been votes that have allowed Donald Trump run roughshod over our Constitution and our country.”“Maine deserves a leader, not a Trump stooge,” says the narrator of the 60-second spot, which goes on to say, “Susan Collins never stands up to Donald Trump.” However, that “never” claim is false, as Team Collins points out:She was one of three Republican Senators to oppose the repeal of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, in 2017, the time Arizona Sen. John McCain famously gave a thumbs down. (Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the third Republican to defy her party).Collins has voted to override every Trump veto, including the bills to stop him from diverting Pentagon funds to build a wall along the Mexican border and to restrict his powers to start a war with Iran.Collins voted against his nominations of Betsy Devos to be Education Secretary and Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.Collins also publicly opposed Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords and his plan to defund Planned Parenthood.The ad asserts the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, “control” her votes and shows she has voted with president’s position 67.5% of the time, which matches the rating by 538.com’s Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump database.But that is also the lowest Trump support rating of all 53 incumbent Republican Senators, and Collins has been rated most bipartisan senator for seven consecutive years by the Lugar Center and The McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.“If we want to litigate over whether or not her vote for Brett Kavanaugh was lift for Donald Trump or her vote to exonerate him when he was quite obviously guilty in the Ukraine matter was a lift for Donald Trump, those are the things that really matter,” Wilson said. “She has tried to play a game with Maine voters and Americans by saying, ‘Oh, I worried about it, I’m concerned, I’m thinking about it,’ and never does. When it counts, she’s with Trump and Mitch McConnell every time.” After a tour of a Westbrook food warehouse last month, Collins defended her voting record.“I don’t cast my vote or make my decisions based on whether to not it’s supported by any president. I do it based on whether it’s right for the people of Maine,” she said.The Lincoln Project had raised $19 million by the end of June, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and some of its 8,856 donors who gave $200 to the Republican-led, anti-Trump group were typically pro-Democrat donors.The anti-Collins ad is one of the first The Lincoln Project has produced for a senate race. The group is also targeting Alaska Sen. Don Sullivan and Montana Sen. Steve Daines.Wilson said, “There are many other senators on our list.”

The Lincoln Project, a group led by disaffected Republicans who want to see President Donald Trump and people they call his “enablers” lose this election year, is spending $1 million in Maine to run TV ads attacking incumbent Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican seeking a 5th term in a race rated a “toss-up” by the Cook Political Report.

Rick Wilson, a co-founder of The Lincoln Project, told WMTW, “Susan Collins has made many votes that I am sure I agree with, but she’s made critical votes, the most important votes of her career have been votes that have allowed Donald Trump run roughshod over our Constitution and our country.”

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“Maine deserves a leader, not a Trump stooge,” says the narrator of the 60-second spot, which goes on to say, “Susan Collins never stands up to Donald Trump.”

However, that “never” claim is false, as Team Collins points out:

She was one of three Republican Senators to oppose the repeal of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, in 2017, the time Arizona Sen. John McCain famously gave a thumbs down. (Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the third Republican to defy her party).

Collins has voted to override every Trump veto, including the bills to stop him from diverting Pentagon funds to build a wall along the Mexican border and to restrict his powers to start a war with Iran.

Collins voted against his nominations of Betsy Devos to be Education Secretary and Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Collins also publicly opposed Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords and his plan to defund Planned Parenthood.

The ad asserts the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, “control” her votes and shows she has voted with president’s position 67.5% of the time, which matches the rating by 538.com’s Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump database.

But that is also the lowest Trump support rating of all 53 incumbent Republican Senators, and Collins has been rated most bipartisan senator for seven consecutive years by the Lugar Center and The McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

“If we want to litigate over whether or not her vote for Brett Kavanaugh was lift for Donald Trump or her vote to exonerate him when he was quite obviously guilty in the Ukraine matter was a lift for Donald Trump, those are the things that really matter,” Wilson said. “She has tried to play a game with Maine voters and Americans by saying, ‘Oh, I worried about it, I’m concerned, I’m thinking about it,’ and never does. When it counts, she’s with Trump and Mitch McConnell every time.”

After a tour of a Westbrook food warehouse last month, Collins defended her voting record.

“I don’t cast my vote or make my decisions based on whether to not it’s supported by any president. I do it based on whether it’s right for the people of Maine,” she said.

The Lincoln Project had raised $19 million by the end of June, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and some of its 8,856 donors who gave $200 to the Republican-led, anti-Trump group were typically pro-Democrat donors.

The anti-Collins ad is one of the first The Lincoln Project has produced for a senate race.

The group is also targeting Alaska Sen. Don Sullivan and Montana Sen. Steve Daines.

Wilson said, “There are many other senators on our list.”