Founder Of San Antonio Advertising Firm Brings Political Experience To Lincoln Project
Lionel Sosa of San Antonio founded Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar and Associates — which became the nation's largest Hispanic advertising agency, now Bromley Communications.
He spent much of his career as a political consultant for Republican presidential candidates, but now is working with a group of Republican strategists that are attempting to oust Donald Trump.
TPR's Jerry Clayton spoke with Sosa about his career and his work with the Lincoln Project
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Clayton: For those that don't know your advertising backstory, can you kind of give us a glimpse of that?
Sosa: Well, I've been in advertising all my life, but my first big political assignment in advertising was back in '78 for Senator John Tower, who won by one half of one percent of the total vote. And the difference was attributed to the Hispanic voter who gave him 37% of the vote instead of the usual 8% for Republicans. From there, I went on to work on the Ronald Reagan campaign, both of his campaigns, both of George H.W. Bush's campaigns — the one that won and the one that didn't — and both of George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004.
Clayton: So you were a political consultant, advertising consultant for for all of these Republican presidential candidates. You were in the Republican Party yourself. At what point did you decide that you wanted to leave the party?
Sosa: Well, I haven't really left the party. You know, the party has really left me under (President Donald) Trump. And I consider myself a conservative, a Republican that doesn't want Donald Trump in office anymore.
Clayton: What is your view of the rise of Donald Trump and how do you think that happened?
Sosa: Well, I think he sneaked up on us, and we should have known that he was a sneaky guy. By the way, he got rid of 18 opponents during the Republican primaries, in the debates. And he surprised everyone and he keeps surprising. All of this, I think, every day by his tweets and the things he does — in the way he announces and the way he insults people almost needlessly almost day after day.
Clayton: You're working with the Lincoln Project. Would you say it is an unprecedented effort from Republicans to help defeat a president who's also a Republican?
Sosa: It really is unprecedented. This is the first time that just the thousands of Republicans or ex-Republicans — and even Democrats and people who are not affiliated with party — have come together, mostly advertising professionals, to say, "We don't want this man back. He does not represent the Republican Party that we have known. And we're going to do everything that we can to make sure that he does not get back in office." Now, will we be successful? We'll certainly know next Tuesday or Wednesday, you know, but we're really trying to use the best minds around the country to use communication and advertising messages that will convince the people who are yet undecided that Joe Biden will be a much better president than Donald Trump.