An unprecedented number of Republican insiders have indicated that they cannot bring themselves to support Donald Trump even if he is their party’s Presidential nominee. Some have said they will vote for Hilary Clinton, others have opted to leave the GOP altogether. Republicans who refuse to endorse Trump include past presidents, governors, senators, representatives, experts and aides.
The reasons for the exodus should be obvious to all. Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims.
Make no mistake about it the GOP is not a victim of Trump, they created this monster through their own failed strategies. Trump was conceived through their pandering to the basest aspects of the American electorate. They are responsible for the outrage at government due to their legislative obstructionism.
Republicans had been flirting with racism for a long time. The election of Barack Obama appears to have sent older white Americans over the edge. They see their power being diluted by people of color and progressive ideologies. Rather than assuage their insecurities, and usher them into the modern world, Trump stokes the fires of fear.
It is the Republican party that is broken not the American political system. The current Republican presidential nominee has taken the Republicans far from thier roots and in so doing it has ignored African Americans, Latinos, millennials and women.
Trump has played the fear card and in so doing he has created a passionate following. His racist xenophobia panders to an angry disaffected segment of the American population. However, at present it is nowhere near sufficient for him to win the presidency.
Repeated displays of erratic behavior have forced Republicans to question Trump’s temperament. Many worry that he is a threat to national security. What is most troubling for Trump’s prospects in November is the fact that he is hemorrhaging support from the core of his own party.
President Obama and others has questioned why Republicans would endorse Trump. Some Republicans have vowed to vote for Hilary, others have said they will stay home on election day. Either way Trump currently has no viable path to the White House.
It is clear that at this point Trump has been criticized by almost everyone who still supports him and the numbers of his supporters appears to be shrinking by the day. Trump does not have support from the black community, he has very little support from Latinos and millennials. Perhaps the most disconcerting stat is the fact that Republican women’s vote is slipping away. While Trump used to enjoy the backing of Republican women, that support is eroding fast. The female vote is pivotal for Trump. In the last presidential election ten million more women voted than men. According to polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News Trump’s support from Republican women has fallen by 13 percent recently.
These women are described as “an electoral cornerstone for the party’s past nominees,” in a New York Times article. Mitt Romney secured the support of 93 percent of Republican women as did George Bush. The article explained, “high-profile Republican women are abandoning decades of party loyalty and vowing to oppose Mr. Trump.”
Dina Vela, a lifelong Republican voter has said she will break ranks and vote for Hilary. a project manager in San Antonio
“For people like me, who are Republican but reasonable and still have our brains attached, its hard to see Trump as a reasonable, sane Republican,” she said. It would seem that female voters do not take kindly to his calling for Hilary’s assassination.
According to the polls, twice as many women support Hilary over Trump in important swing states like Pennsylvania.
Former presidents and presidential candidates
Trump does not have the support of any living former President including those in the GOP. His presidential bid has been opposed by James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981 George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993 William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001 George Walker Bush, 2001-2009 and Barack Hussein Obama, 2009-2016. Trump’s presidency has also been opposed by former GOP Presidential candidates john Kasich, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush.
Trump has also failed to secure or lost the support of a number of expert Republicans. Earlier this summer many GOP officials signed letter opposing Trump. In August 50 GOP national security experts opposed Donald Trump in a letter. The fifty signatories are prominent Republican foreign policy and national security experts. This includes many veterans of George W. Bush’s administration. The letter denounces Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy and specifically warns: “We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.” The letter also says: “He is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood. He does not encourage conflicting views. He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior,” the letter claims. “All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be President and Commander-in-Chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.”
Its signatories include former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, the former directors of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, former Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. neocon leader and member of the Council on Foreign Relations Robert Kagan, former Under Secretary of Defense Policy during the first Bush administration and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman, former World Bank president, U.S. trade representative, deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick and dozens of others former Republican presidential administration officials and conservative think tank members.
The deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush, Richard Armitage said he will vote for Hilary. He explained his decision by saying Trump “doesn’t appear to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn about issues.” Brent Scowcroft, the National Security Adviser to Presidents George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford, who worked in the White House of Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush also endorsed Clinton.
It is not only high profile Republicans that are deserting Trump. The RNC has reportedly lost staffers over Trump. Republican aides are jumping ship and voting for Hilary. This includes an ex-Reagan political director Frank Lavin and Maria Comella, Chris Christie’s longtime aide who said Trump is “a demagogue”who preys “on people’s anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the ‘other’.” Sally Bradshaw, a top Jeb Bush adviser has even left the GOP altogether saying, Republicans are “at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist — a misogynist — a bigot.” The former top adviser to Sen. John McCain Mark Salter tweeted his support for Clinton saying “the GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level. I’m with her.” The former aide to President George Bush Lezlee Westine also supports Hilary.
Trump has also been criticized by a a number of high profile Republican Senators including John McCain and Paul Ryan. However, they have yet to formally withdraw their support.
Here is a list of Republican Senators that have publicly abandoned Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Many GOP Senators have told their constituencies to break party ranks and vote their conscience. Here are some of the reasons why:
Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona senator said: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to see that he’s going to make the changes that he needs.” Sen. Dean Heller from Nevada said Trump “did a lot of damage” and that he thinks it’ll be difficult for the Republican nominee to “recover from his previous comments. “I’ll give him a chance, but at this point, I have no intentions of voting for him,” Heller said. Rep Mike Coffman from The Colorado said in a TV add, “People ask me, ‘What do you think about (Donald) Trump?’ Honestly, I don’t care for him much.”
Sen Lindsey Graham from South Carolina senator said he won’t vote for Trump. He explained that he thinks the Republican Party has been “conned” by the Republican presidential nominee.
Sen. Susan Collins from Maine said she will not vote for Trump, she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, that “Trump is antithetical to GOP values”
Sen. Mark Kirk from Illinois said that he “cannot and will not support” Trump, who he said, “does not have the temperament” to be commander in chief.”
Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska said he will not vote for Trump because he, “does not even know what the Constitution is about.”
Former three-term senator Larry Pressler from South Dakota has endorsed Clinton saying she “would be able to handle such explosive situations which are terrorist inspired much better than Donald Trump.”
Former senator from New Hampshire Gordon Humphrey said he won’t support Trump, and would vote for Clinton. “I am ever more confirmed in my belief that Trump is a sociopath, without a conscience or feelings of guilt, shame or remorse,” Humphrey wrote.
A similar story is unfolding with House Republicans, here is a list of representatives that have indicated they will not support Trump. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R- Fla.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Me.), Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Rep. Reid Ribble, (R-Wis.)
Former Representatives that do not support Trump include Chris Shays of Connecticut, Connie Morella from Maryland, Larry Pressler from South Dakota, David Durenberger from Minnesota, Joe Scarborough from Florida, Norm Coleman from Minnesota, Mel Martinez from Florida, J.C. Watts from Oklahoma. Here is a summary of reasons provided for not supporting the Republican nominee:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger from Illinois said that he doesn’t see how he can support Trump following his comments about NATO and the Khan family. “I’m an American before I’m a Republican.”
Rep Charlie Dent from The Pennsylvania House member said he will not support Trump saying “I think some of us have to stand up once in a while and just have to say how we feel about this.”
Rep. Bob Dold from Illinois said, “I will not support Donald Trump,” referring to Trump’s comments about women, Muslims, Latinos and POWs. “We’re looking for a uniter, not a divider,” he said.
Rep. Richard Hanna from New York was the first Republican member of Congress to openly announce he will vote for Hillary Clinton. Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida said that she won’t back Trump. Rep. Scott Rigell from Virginia said he will not vote for Trump and he will not run for reelection.
Lobbyist and former three term congressman from Minnesota Vin Weber said that he rejects Trump’s candidacy. He called Trump’s nomination, “a mistake of historic proportions.”
Former congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut wrote “I think many Republicans know Donald Trump could cause great damage to our country and the world at large, and still plan to vote for him. But not me. He represents practically everything I was taught not to be, and everything my wife and I taught our daughter not to be.”
In addition to Kaisch there have been other Republican Governors who have indicated that they will not vote for Trump either. This includes Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker who said he likely won’t support Trump because of, “The things he said about women and Muslims and religious freedom, I just can’t support.”
Former Michigan governor William Milliken said he won’t support Trump. He further indicated that he will vote for Hilary. The former governor of Montana and former chairman of the Republican National Committee Marc Racicot wrote in an op-ed, he “cannot endorse or support” Trump.
Former first lady Barbara Bush said Trump has said “terrible things about women, terrible things about the military.” “I don’t even think about him,” she said. “I’m sick of him.” The 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney has railed against Trump saying he will not vote for him and pointing out his racism and misogyny.
The Republican Treasury secretary Hank Paulson endorsed Clinton. In an op-ed he said, “a Trump presidency is unthinkable.” “To my Republican friends: I know I’m not alone,” Paulson wrote.
The longtime conservative commentator and columnist George Will said he left the Republican Party because of Trump — “I decided that in fact this was not my party anymore,” he said.
The president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Meg Whitman is a major GOP donor who has said she will support Hilary both financially and with her vote. She explained her decision by saying that Trump’s “demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.”
Republican donor Paul Singer said he will not support Trump neither will Charles and David Koch who have been important supporters of Republican candidates with financial and logistical support. They also have a vast network of think tanks and conservative groups that have helped influence electoral outcomes. Also included in the list of business leaders who will not support Trump is former GM CEO Dan Akerson who has indicated he will vote for Hilary.
As reported by Quartz, Jim Greenwood, the CEO of the Biotech Innovation Organization has expressed serious reservations about the implications of a Trump presidency for business. Robert Atkinson, the head of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said. “A number of companies are explicitly sitting to the side. There’s a different feel.”
According to Politico corporate donors reneged on millions in donations to the RNC, this includes companies like Apple, BP, United Health, Visa, FedEx, Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
It is widely known that a Trump presidency will spell disaster for the environment and efforts to address climate change. As reported by Grist, 2 former Republican EPA chiefs have publicly refused to support Trump and endorsed Hillary for president. William D. Ruckelshaus, who ran the agency under Richard Nixon and again under Ronald Reagan, and William K. Reilly, who was EPA administrator for George H. W. Bush, both argue that Donald Trump would roll back decades of environmental progress made under both Republican and Democratic presidents.
“Donald Trump has shown a profound ignorance of science and of the public health issues embodied in our environmental laws,” Ruckelshaus and Reilly write in a joint statement.
Christine Todd Whitman is another American Republican politician who was Governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, and head of the EPA under administration of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003. She said that she would probably support Clinton over Trump.
Trump does have supporters. His core demographic is composed almost entirely of old, white, uneducated men. This is a group that pines for the glory days when the white man ruled and “colored” people knew their place. They have watched that world slip away and they fear further erosion of their privileges.
He also has some international admirers. Trump was lauded as a “genius” by Russia’a Vladimir Putin and he is also respected by North Korean crazy-man Kim Jong Ill. As reported by Reuters, DPRK, North Korea’s State controlled press called Trump “a wise politician and a prescient presidential candidate.”
Trump also enjoys the support of professional wrestlers (Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Hulk Hogen), a bevy of ditzy airheads (Fran Drescher, Tila Tequila and Jessica Simpson), a convicted rapist (Mike Tyson), a drug addict (Charlie Sheen), and a couple of celebrities whose sanity is highly questionable (Denis Rodman and Gary Busey).
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