Lincoln Project roasted following Youngkin's triumph in Virginia: 'You should have brought more tiki torches'

Media top headlines November 3

In media news today, CNN’s Van Jones calls Glenn Youngkin a ‘delta variant of Trumpism,’ MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace says critical race theory is not real, and Joy Reid says the education issue is ‘code’ for White parents who don’t want race taught in schools

In case it had forgotten, the disgraced Lincoln Project was reminded by its many detractors of its September tweet boasting it was “coming” for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin following the Republican’s win Tuesday night.

The left-wing PAC, known for its vitriolic social media presence and melodramatic anti-GOP advertising, tried to make a splash in the closely watched Virginia race. In September, it tweeted, “We’re coming for you, @GlennYoungkin.” Less than six weeks later, Youngkin sailed to victory in a bruising defeat for Democrats and the Joe Biden agenda. 

Run by disgruntled ex-Republican operatives like Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson, the organization repeatedly tried to paint Youngkin as a racist over his criticism of critical race theory and mirrored Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to link him to Donald Trump. Then last week, it admitted to orchestrating a stunt by having people pose as tiki-torch-wielding supporters of Youngkin, in an apparent effort to smear his backers as racists akin to the White nationalists protesting in Charlottesville in 2017.

A small group of demonstrators dressed as "Unite the Right" rally-goers with tiki torches stand on a sidewalk as Republican candidate for governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin arrives on his bus for a campaign event at a Mexican restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The stunt backfired and led to widespread criticism, with even left-leaning outlets CNN and MSNBC, which have frequently platformed the Lincoln Project’s cadre of advisers and co-founders, blasting the hoax. The McAuliffe campaign, whose staffers at first spread around Twitter photos of the tiki-torch holders to criticize Youngkin, also condemned the action.

With Youngkin’s triumph over McAulifffe on Wednesday, a group known for its trolling was the one getting trolled, with some even reminding the Lincoln Project of the John Weaver sexual harassment scandal from earlier this year.

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“And we brought Tiki torches,” Bloomberg’s Eli Lake tweeted.


“Has Glenn Youngkin called Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson to thank them yet?” journalist Glenn Greenwald asked.

Journalist Ryan Girdusky, whose reporting on Weaver’s online predations led to a flood of other pieces from other outlets on Lincoln Project financial issues and infighting, also reminded it of its failed tiki torch stunt.

“Keep fighting guys,” Bethany Mandel snarked.

Ricochet editor Jon Gabriel captured the thoughts of many conservatives, asking progressives to continue sending the Lincoln Project money. The group raised a staggering $90 million in its first year, with much of that money going to firms run by its members.

Fox News contributor Joe Concha told Fox News Digital the Lincoln Project was akin to disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti having “cloned himself into multiple grifters.” Like the group, Avenatti was a media favorite as a thorn in the side of Trump before his downfall over arrests and eventual conviction for multiple financial crimes.

MSNBC personalities like Nicolle Wallace and Brian Williams and CNN’s Chris Cuomo have continued to promote the group after its avalanche of bad headlines this year.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin greets supporters in the crowd after speaking during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.
(REUTERS/ Elizabeth Frantz)

“Who in their right mind could continue to donate to the Lincoln Project?” Concha asked. “Anyone who continues to book these people on the air should be ashamed, but the Nicolle Wallaces and Chris Cuomos will continue to do so.”

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