President Trump’s impact on the Republican Party will be studied for decades to come. History will look not only at who joined the GOP in the Trump era, but also who left it. Steve Schmidt is among the latter. For decades a communications strategist working for President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain, Schmidt now denounces the party he once loved. He’s a co-founder of The Lincoln Project, a political action committee formed in 2019 by a group of Republicans determined to defeat Trump in the 2020 election. He joins Michel Martin to explain what’s next for the project and for the Party — and to discuss the struggle to preserve American democracy.
Here is a longer version, during a Dec. 8 interview on PBS, where he lays out clearly how he and other former Republicans had a psychological profile of Trump and knew they wanted to take the fight to him, to make it about him. They wanted to unsettle and unbalance him, knowing that the fight for Democracy had to be the bold move, not the polite one.