President Trump was formally nominated Monday afternoon as the Republican Party’s candidate for this year’s presidential race. Yet as he is set to accept the party’s nomination this week, a number of Republicans won’t be voting for him, preferring instead to support his main rival, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
More than two dozen former Republican lawmakers endorsed Biden’s candidacy on the same day that Trump was nominated. As part of a group called “Republicans for Biden,” they seek to attract wayward GOP voters in communities across the country, hoping to convince them to vote against Trump and for Biden in the 2020 election.
Perhaps the most prominent member of the group is former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Republican who frequently clashed with Trump on social media. Flake most recently criticized Trump for not denouncing a “birtherism” conspiracy about vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
“It was bad enough when, as a private citizen, President Trump led the birtherism parade against Barack Obama,” Flake wrote. “To now amplify, as President of the United States, a similar falsehood about Kamala Harris is even more abhorrent.”
The Biden campaign explained in a statement that Republicans for Trump may not agree ideologically with the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, but recognize the current president is pushing the country in a direction that neither party wants to see it go.
“These former members of Congress cited Trump’s corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course as a reason why they support Biden,” the statement read.
Last week, more than 70 former GOP national security officials also announced they would be backing the Democratic challenger in this year’s presidential race. The Democratic National Convention (DNC) also showcased Republican officials backing Biden, such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Trump does not have any endorsements from a former living president. Although only one former president who is still alive is a Republican, George W. Bush said he would not be supporting Trump’s presidency in this year’s race. Both Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, declined to endorse Trump in 2016.
All three of the other living presidents — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — all Democrats — endorsed Biden during last week’s DNC.
Republican endorsements for Biden have piled up just as newly released recordings of Trump’s sister, former Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, revealed her own doubts regarding the president’s integrity.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” she was recorded as having said. “He has no principles. None. None.”