Lincoln Project Founder Asks AOC to Work With His GOP Anti-Trump Organization

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Lincoln Project Food Drive
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) looks out towards a crowd during a food distribution event on October 27, 2020 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty

Steve Schmidt, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, shared a lengthy Twitter thread early Saturday publicly reaching out to Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Schmidt is one of eight Republicans who started the anti-Trump political action committee. He has worked as a communications and public affairs strategist on a number of campaigns including those for former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, President George W. Bush, and Senator John McCain. Other Lincoln Project founders include George Conway, Reed Galen and Jennifer Horn.

Kicking off his Twitter thread, Schmidt acknowledged that the representative likely disagrees with the group of Republicans on many fronts. He also referenced Ocasio-Cortez's previous job as a waitress.

"I would like to officially reach out to @AOC on behalf of the @ProjectLincoln in defense of democracy. We disagree on many issues and that is ok in our view. Btw, we don't look down on waitresses. We admire them. We are all the types of guys who always tip at 50% or more," he tweeted.

I have an idea. Let’s approach each other and our points of view with good faith. We say the following with respect and seriousness Ma’am. Our hand is open and we need to work together or we are going to lose America. The fight will last for many years.

— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 12, 2020

Schmidt called for a civil discussion of ideas and respect for each other's points of view.

"We say the following with respect and seriousness Ma'am. Our hand is open and we need to work together or we are going to lose America. The fight will last for many years," he wrote.

Schmidt also said that if the two worked together they could defeat autocracy, despite their differences. He ended the thread by listing Ocasio-Cortez's qualities that the Lincoln Project admires, including her conviction and integrity.

We are the left and right flanks of a broad coalition. Should we buckle, they will win. We must not. We are together. We pledge to listen. We pledge to learn. We pledge to be open to your ideas and we pledge to compromise. We have no such offer for the other side.

— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 12, 2020

Your conviction. You are a living example of democracy and the importance of faith and belief in the system. We are one election away from losing this country to Autocrats. We stand with you against that. We hope you will stand with us also. God bless America.

— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 12, 2020

In a follow-up tweet, Schmidt seemed to indicate which issues he hoped to discuss with AOC. "(1) Federal Pardons for all Marijuana crimes. (2) end of payday lending- no banking for poor people. 3. Lack of Pre k education," he wrote in the list of issues the Lincoln Project finds important.

And in another tweet, Schmidt wrote: "Conviction is everything. There is a fundamental misunderstanding about politics. It is the side that has no conviction that cannot compromise. They have no belief. It is the believers who can compromise because they have faith."

In America. It is the side that has no conviction that cannot compromise. They have no belief. It is the believers who can compromise because they have faith. That is why I have faith

— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 12, 2020

Schmidt also brushed off people who opposed him extending an olive branch to the New York congresswoman.

Don’t care. She believes in elections https://t.co/9LLmIBHd7o

— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 12, 2020

The Lincoln Project has released a number of videos criticizing Republican politicians. Its most recent clip, "Silver Alert," takes aim Republican Georgia Senator David Perdue ahead of that state's Senate runoff elections on January 5.

The Lincoln Project and press contacts for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to Newsweek's emailed requests for comment in time for publication.