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The Democrats’ Billboard-Size Plan to Make Trump Own Project 2025

Ahead of a rally in Doral this week, the DNC launched billboards outlining his connections to the radical conservative agenda.

Former President Donald Trump at the June 27 debate
Kyle Mazza/Anadolu/Getty Images

When former President Donald Trump arrives in Doral, Florida, for a Tuesday evening rally, Democrats will have a surprise waiting for him: a new front in the party’s messaging tying him to the controversial Project 2025, a blueprint for a second Trump term drafted by conservative allies and former administration officials. The Democratic National Committee has purchased space on several billboards in Doral explicitly tying Trump to Project 2025, The New Republic has learned.

Project 2025, also known as the 2025 Presidential Transition Project, proposes firing thousands of government employees, eliminating the Department of Education, severely restricting abortion access, dismantling federal protections for LGBTQ individuals, granting the president greater control over the Justice Department, and limiting efforts to combat climate change.

While Trump has attempted, with limited success, to distance himself from Project 2025, Democrats have increasingly seized on the 900-page laundry list of policy items as an ominous harbinger of what a second Trump term would look like. The Doral billboards constitute the DNC’s first paid media campaign explicitly targeting Project 2025, though it is not clear how much the party spent.

Image of DNC billboard tying Trump to Project 2025
Courtesy Democratic National Committee

The billboards paint the conservative wish list in ominous terms, calling it “Trump’s plan to be a dictator on Day 1.” Another reads: “Terrifying. Dystopian. Google it.” A third calls Project 2025 “Donald Trump’s blueprint for revenge and retribution.” A third digs into some of the specifics: “Guts checks and balances, seeks revenge, bans abortion nationwide.”

“Donald Trump’s Project 2025 is the biggest threat to our American way of life we’ve faced in generations,” said Abhi Rahman, a spokesperson for the DNC. “Ahead of Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans meeting next week to push an extreme, anti-choice, and anti-democracy agenda, the DNC is taking the fight to Trump’s doorstep with a new fleet of billboards showing the true danger of Trump’s second term playbook: Project 2025.”

This is not the first time that the DNC has used billboards to needle Trump; the committee previously launched billboards in Atlanta referring to Trump as a “convicted felon,” ahead of the first debate between the two party nominees.

Image of DNC billboard tying Donald Trump to Project 2025
Courtesy Democratic National Committee

But President Joe Biden’s poor debate performance quickly overshadowed that effort. With Biden facing questions over whether he is fit to remain in the race, the DNC and the Biden campaign are increasingly focused on drawing attention to Trump’s policy agenda.

The Biden campaign has issued a flurry of press releases in recent days outlining the dangers of Project 2025, and allies and surrogates have become more vocal in explicitly denouncing it.

“He’s trying to hide his connections to his allies’ extreme Project 2025 agenda,” Biden said about Trump in a campaign statement released over the weekend. “The only problem? It was written for him, by those closest to him. Project 2025 should scare every single American.”

Even though the architects of Project 2025 include former administration officials, and even though his super PAC has run ads highlighting its policy goals, Trump has insisted that he has no connection to the proposal. “I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal,” he wrote on Truth Social last week. “Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them.”

Image of DNC billboard tying Donald Trump to Project 2025
Courtesy Democratic National Committee

Democrats have also seized on recent comments by Kevin Roberts, who heads the Heritage Foundation, which coordinated Project 2025, who said that the United States is “in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

Regardless of Trump’s comments about Project 2025, the Republican Party hewed ever closer to his agenda on Monday, adopting a platform that includes several classic Trump talking points. The party’s platform committee approved the document, which will be finalized by vote at the Republican National Convention next week in Wisconsin. Although the document does not support federal limits for abortion, despite the hopes of some social conservatives, it is otherwise a very Trumpian to-do list, with agenda items including plans for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, reversing policies aimed at combating climate change, and targeting transgender individuals. While it is not as detailed as Project 2025, some of the basic goals of the platform—such as emphasizing hard-line immigration policies and deportation—are in line with that agenda. Considering the cross-pollination between former Trump officials and Project 2025 contributors, this is not wholly surprising.

The DNC hopes that issues like Project 2025, abortion—a reproductive rights ballot initiative will be on the ballot in November—and a Republican incumbent might make the once-purple Sunshine State competitive after it has leaned increasingly Republican in recent years.

“Floridians, along with all Americans, will have even less rights if [Trump] takes back the White House,” Rahman said. “Freedom and democracy are on the ballot, and Florida voters will reject Trump’s agenda to rip away their rights and reelect President Biden in November.”