More than two dozen former Republican United States legislators, including former Senator Jeff Flake, have endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president on the first day of the Republican National Convention, in the latest rebuke of President Donald Trump by members of his own party.
The 27 former members of Congress joined a “Republicans for Biden” initiative organised by the Biden campaign to encourage Republican support for the Democrat, the Biden campaign said.
They cited Trump’s “corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course” as reasons for the move, according to a Biden campaign statement.
Flake, whose opposition to Trump led the Arizona Republican to retire from the Senate in 2018, was due to speak to reporters later on Monday about his decision to endorse Biden.
Seeing in print in the @WSJ this list of Republican national security officials endorsing Biden is really something. This is basically every GOP luminary of the last 30 years, saying “enough” to Trump. Stunning, really. pic.twitter.com/Zm6ZfFdyLP
— Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) August 21, 2020
The former lawmakers represent only the latest Republican group to endorse the Democratic presidential nominee and oppose Trump in the November 3 election, illustrating how the Republican president has alienated members of his own party.
Last week, 73 former Republican national security officials, including former chiefs of the FBI and CIA, endorsed Biden while calling Trump corrupt and unfit to serve.
Charlie Dent: I’m voting for Joe Biden (Opinion) – CNN https://t.co/tEqO03AY2z
— Charlie Dent (@RepCharlieDent) August 19, 2020
The opposition groups object to Trump’s alienation of US allies abroad and his leadership at home, including his response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 176,000 Americans, and triggered a severe economic downturn.
The Trump campaign has described the Republican groups advocating for Biden, such as Republican Voters Against Trump and 43 Alumni for Biden – hundreds of officials who worked for George W Bush – as “the swamp” and a group of disaffected former officials “trying to take down the duly elected President of the United States”.