Former Attorney General Grant Woods wants nothing more in 2020 than to see President Donald Trump and his Republican allies, like U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, lose their bids to stay in power.
And while that aligns him squarely with the goals of a host of political committees, including The Lincoln Project, he said an announcement last week that he was helping lead that group’s Arizona effort wasn’t correct.
“We’re on the same side — we want Joe Biden to win. But I can’t be on (their) team,” Woods told Arizona Mirror in an interview Monday.
Woods said he has been working directly for Biden’s campaign in Arizona — and will continue to do so — and so can’t be involved with fundraising or strategy for outside groups like The Lincoln Project.
He said he was surprised to learn from the Mirror’s reporting that he was listed among the “leadership team” members for the anti-Trump super PAC in Arizona. He’d told them that they could list him as a supporter, but said he was clear that would be the extent of his involvement.
The Lincoln Project didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Woods chalked up his inclusion on the leadership team as a simple case of crossed wires.
“I think any and all Trump enablers should be defeated, and that’s what The Lincoln Project is trying to do. I’m all for that,” he said.
And Woods said he’s confident that Biden will be able to do what a Democrat has only done once since 1952: Win the Grand Canyon State. (The only Democrat to do so was Bill Clinton in his 1996 re-election.)
The Biden campaign is “prioritizing Arizona,” he said, because the once deep-red state is now a bona fide battleground state. Since March, polls have consistently shown Biden leading Trump, often by high single-digits.
“Biden has a lead, but it’s not any sort of run away. It’s up for grabs,” Woods said. “That means you have to execute, you have to work hard, and you have to talk to folks who are persuadable.”
In particular, Woods said he sees lots of Republicans, ex-Republicans and conservative-leaning independents who are disgusted with Trump’s policies and behavior. Biden, he said, is “the perfect candidate for this time” because he is the polar opposite of Trump in many ways.
“Trump stands against most of the principles that many of us have worked for for our entire lives,” he said. “The next step is, can you make people who feel that way comfortable with voting for Joe Biden — not stay home and not hold their nose and vote for Trump.
“I think they’re already leaning our way, we’ve just got to make them feel comfortable.”
Likewise, Woods said he hopes those persuadable Republicans — the ones who supported the late Sen. John McCain for decades — also give McSally her walking papers.
“Trump wouldn’t have had the negative impact that he’s had if we didn’t have the enablers, if people would have been more like John McCain and given him the thumbs down when it was appropriate to do so,” he said. “McSally’s totally tied her fortunes to Trump. I’m hopeful they’ll meet the same fate.”