Politics - News Analysis

Watch the Lincoln Project Ad That Pence Says Made Trump So Angry That He Did Jan 6th

Former Vice President Mike Pence is saying that then-president Donald Trump’s frenzied attempts at overturning the 2020 presidential election, thereby keeping himself in office against the wishes of the American people was spurred by an anti-Trump Super Pac that highlighted a vice president’s role in certifying presidential elections.

The Wall Street Journal highlighted an excerpt from Pence’s upcoming book as an op-ed. The former vice president wrote that a television commercial from The Lincoln Project was “the first time anyone implied” that Pence could single-handedly change the election results by presiding over the counting of the electoral votes on January 6, 2021, The Independent reports.

“He [Pence] wrote that the ‘irresponsible’ advertisement which said that Mr. Pence’s participation in the quadrennial joint session of Congress ‘would prove that [he] knew ‘it’s over’ and that by doing [his] constitutional duty, [he] would be ‘putting the final nail in the coffin’ of the president’s re-election.”

The Lincoln Project released the controversial ad on December 8, 2020, and was played on television stations in the Washington, D.C., and Palm Beach, Florida media markets.

Unless you live in a cave, you already know that was the Lincoln Project’s main objective: to ensure Trump leaves office and the group specifically targeted Trump’s television viewing habits.

The now-famous ad featured a voice-over that addressed Trump directly.

“The end is coming, Donald. Even Mike Pence knows.”

The commercial told Trump that Pence was “backing away” from his trainwreck of lawsuits meant to overturn the election in court, and ended with an additional warning.

“Oh, there’s one last thing, Donald. On January 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin when he presides over the Senate vote to prove Joe Biden won. It’s over. And Mike Pence knows it,” the narrator said.

Pence wrote that he knew the ad was “designed to annoy the president.”

And annoy him it did.

“It worked,” Pence wrote. “During a December cabinet meeting, President Trump told me the ad ‘looked bad for you.’ I replied that it wasn’t true: I had fully supported the legal challenges to the election and would continue to do so.”

But according to The Independent, even though Pence put the blame on The Lincoln Project for spurring Trump’s reversal attempts and the riot that ensued, the timeline he posits doesn’t line up with the events.

“The 8 December advertisement aired long after Mr. Trump’s allies began pushing the then-president to support challenges to the election.”

Rick Wilson, a former GOP strategist and co-founder of The Lincoln Project addressed Pence’s complaints in a tweet Wednesday.

“Pretty normal day, just Mike Pence blaming @ProjectLincoln for causing January 6th,” he wrote, later adding: Cannot get over Mike Pence blaming the Lincoln Project for Jan. 6.”

The commercial certainly seemed to ignite the former president, but perhaps it also helped to solidify Pence’s reserve so that he didn’t kowtow to Trump, because he certainly did throughout much of his boss’s presidency.

We can all be glad for that.

And here’s the ad that did it:

meet the author

Nicole Hickman is a lifelong Democrat and political activist who first cut her teeth as a teenager volunteering for Mike Dukakis’ presidential campaign. She has worked and volunteered for John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, HFA (Hillary For America) and Organizing For Action. She’s passionate about liberal and progressive causes, and considers President Obama her most favorite president ever. She holds her Bachelor’s from Boston College and her Master’s from Columbia University, both in Economics. When not working as a writer, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her three college-aged children.