“For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for President. But as proud as I am to label myself as a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else — AMERICAN. So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over party — it is your DUTY.” – Former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2016).
And just lately, this statement: “President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic showed a ‘flat-out disregard for human life’ because his main concern was the economy and his reelection.”
This strong rebuke of President Donald Trump isn’t from a Democrat, pundit, or news analyst.
This statement came from a long-time Republican who, like many other Republican officials like former Gov. Schwarzenegger and others listed below, have already rejected Trump, debunking his narrative that those who oppose him are just Democrats and the “Fake News Media.” Many of them have already endorsed Joe Biden for president.
The latest Republican in the White House inner circle who came out to voice her opposition to Trump’s re-election is Olivia Troye, who had been in all of the Coronavirus Task Force meetings and was a homeland security, counterterrorism and coronavirus adviser to Vice President Pence for two years.
The White House responded by calling Troye “a disgruntled former employee, minimized her role on the task force and disputed her characterization that the pandemic response has not gone well,” the Washington Post reported.
But former senior Trump administration official Miles Taylor, another “disgruntled employee,” recounted to CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he had personally witnessed Vice President Mike Pence praise his former homeland security adviser Olivia Troye, who left his staff in August. Taylor also left the White House because of Trump.
Taylor was a lifetime Republican who worked at the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, including as chief of staff. He was the first White House senior official to endorse Biden.
“After serving for more than two years in the Department of Homeland Security’s leadership during the Trump administration, I can attest that the country is less secure as a direct result of the president’s actions,” Taylor wrote in an OP-ED for the Washington Post.
“Like many Americans, I had hoped that Donald Trump, once in office, would soberly accept the burdens of the presidency — foremost among them the duty to keep America safe. But he did not rise to the challenge. Instead, the president has governed by whim, political calculation and self-interest,” he added.
Taylor also accused Trump of withholding disaster aid from blue states and claiming “magical authorities” above the law.
Like Taylor, Olivia Troye also indicated that she will vote for Joe Biden.
“The president’s rhetoric and his own attacks against people in his administration trying to do the work, as well as the promulgation of false narratives and incorrect information of the virus have made this ongoing response a failure,” she said in an interview.
Troye might have played a behind-the-scenes role during her time in the White House, but the Post reported that “she was a major participant in the task force’s work. “I attended and helped to organize ‘every single meeting’ it held from February until July,” Troye was quoted by the Post.
“She worked closely with Pence on the administration’s response, including establishing an agenda for each meeting, preparing the vice president and arranging briefings for him, writing and editing his comments, and dealing with the vice president’s political aides.”
Troye revealed, “Towards the middle of February, we knew it wasn’t a matter of if Covid would become a big pandemic here, it was a matter of when.”
“But the President didn’t want to hear that, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year, and how was this going to affect what he considered to be his record of success?”
“Maybe this Covid thing is a good thing, “Troye claimed Trump suggested at one coronavirus task force meeting. “I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.” These “disgusting people” were the ones who have been blindly risking their lives amid the pandemic because they thought Trump cared for them.
Olivia Troye and Miles Taylor have now joined many other high-ranking Republicans who rebuked Trump and would not support his reelection bid. Many of them have endorsed Joe Biden.
Forbes reported on prominent former GOP officials, and even some of his ex-staffers, have come out to rebuke Trump, many of them in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden, and more could have come out since Forbes published this list on September 4, 2020:
George W. Bush - The last living former Republican president has said he won’t back Trump.
Jeb Bush - the former governor of Florida who was mercilessly ridiculed by Trump when they fought for the GOP nomination in 2016.
Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain and mother of The View host Meghan McCain (who also endorsed Biden) narrated a video for the Democratic convention detailing her late husband’s “unlikely friendship” with Biden.
Jim Mattis - Trump’s former Defense Secretary, called Trump “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.”
John Kelly - Trump’s former Chief of Staff and Homeland Security Secretary said he wished “we had some additional choices.”
John Bolton – Trump’s former national security adviser and self-described “lifelong conservative” said Trump is “stunningly uninformed,” a “danger for the republic” and easily manipulated by foreign leaders—including Chinese President Xi Jinping, who he claims Trump asked for reelection help—Bolton warned of grave danger if Trump wins reelection, stating clearly: “I’m not going to vote for him.”
Rex Tillerson - Trump’s former state secretary said what was challenging for him was: “to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ‘This is what I believe.’”
Thomas P. Bossert – Trump’s first homeland security adviser, said he told the president there was no basis to the theory that Ukraine, not Russia, intervened in the 2016 election and did so on behalf of the Democrats. Bossert said he was “deeply disturbed” that Mr. Trump nonetheless tried to get Ukraine’s president to produce damaging information about Democrats.
Sitting Republican Senators - weighing voting against Trump, according to Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has said he will not vote for Trump and may write-in his wife, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she is “struggling” with the decision. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) has also said he will not vote for Trump and is considering a vote for Biden.
Former Gov. John Kasich - challenged Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016, has been one of Biden’s most vocal Republican backers, lauding his “experience and his wisdom and his decency” at the Democratic convention
Former Republican cabinet secretaries who endorse Biden
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that he’s supporting Biden for president, arguing that the former VP is the “right person” for “this time in our country,” though he remains a Republican.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Trump is not his “kind of politician” and called out the president for “the way he disparages people.”
Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell said Trump has “drifted away” from the Constitution, and will instead vote for the former vice president, the Democratic nominee.
Christine Todd Whitman, New Jersey governor from 1994 to 2001 before serving as George W. Bush’s EPA director, appeared at the DNC alongside Kasich.
Former Republican Senators have come out for Biden: David Durenberger of Minnesota and Gordon J. Humphrey of New Hampshire (both independents now), John Warner of Virginia and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who called a Trump second term “a real danger.”
Former Republican Representatives
Susan Molinari of New York spoke at the Democratic convention, joining former Reps. Charles Djou of Hawaii and Joe Walsh of Illinois, a former tea partier who challenged Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020 and voted for Biden in Illinois’ open Democratic primary in March, calling Trump a “horrible human being” who “must be defeated.”
Former Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania endorsed Biden ahead of the third night of the Democratic convention, declaring, “It’s a sad state of affairs when a president endorses a 9/11 truther,” in reference to Trump’s embrace of Georgia Congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene.
A group of 73 former U.S. national security officials in the Republican administrations, including former heads of the CIA and FBI and Trump administration officials, endorsed Biden, asserting that Trump’s “corrupt behavior renders him unfit to serve as president.”
Former Trump Assistant Director of Homeland Security Elizabeth Neumann accused Trump of ignoring the threat of domestic terrorism and early pandemic warnings, claiming he “gave permission” to white supremacists.
27 former GOP lawmakers, including Jeff Flake, who served in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 and as a U.S. Senator from Arizona from 2013 to 2019; Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, Rep. Jim Greenwood of Pennsylvania, Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa and Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma, Former Sens. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, John Warner of Virginia, Ray LaHood of Illinois and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire.
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
Former Republican Senator and Clinton Defense Secretary Bill Cohen of Maine endorsed Biden, blasting Trump’s “failed leadership” on coronavirus and calling Biden “a leader with optimism and competence who gives us hope.”
100 McCain 2008, 30 Romney 2012, two dozen George W. Bush campaign and administration staffers endorsed Biden.
A group of 100 prominent Republicans and independents, including Todd Whitman, former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, launched a group to campaign, run ads and pen opinion pieces on Biden’s behalf.
A group of 107 former state attorneys general who endorsed Biden for his “commitment to eliminate abuses of power” and belief in “common sense law enforcement” includes six Republicans; Greg Zoeller of Indiana, Mark Shurtleff of Utah, Jim Jones of Idaho, Doug Baily of Alaska, Jeff Amestoy of Vermont and Jeff Pine of Rhode Island.
Numerous Republican media figures, campaign strategists and government officials have even organized PACs dedicated to supporting Biden, such as Republican Voters Against Trump and, most recently, 43 Alumni for Biden.
The most notable among them is the Lincoln Project, whose scathing attack ads on Trump have captured the hearts of anti-Trump resistance-minded Democrats. Fil-Am George Conway, the husband of former White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, was among those who spearheaded this project to rebuke Trump.
Anthony Scaramucci served as Trump’s White House communications director for just two weeks, endorsed Biden and called Trump “crazy.”
Other ex-Trump officials have spoken out against him as well, including communications staffer Omarosa Manigault, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.
Carly Fiorina - a former Hewlett Packard CEO and GOP presidential candidate who was briefly the running mate of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), said she cannot support Trump and that “elections are binary choices,”
Meg Whitman - another Hewlett Packard CEO, said that Trump “has no clue how to run a business, let alone an economy.”
What do these endorsements mean? Country first before party.
Nobody is above the law. Like the above-mentioned Republicans, it is okay to change your mind about supporting Trump because he has proven to be unworthy and beneath the Office of the President of the United States. That is the patriotic and honorable thing to do under these circumstances.
Trump’s transgressions against the Constitution and his character, personality and selfishness in putting his political agenda ahead of his oath to protect and serve ALL of the American people just prove he is the wrong man for the job.
Joe Biden is the better leader we need in this chapter of our history as we all move and work together to heal this nation and move forward together toward a more perfect union.
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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at [email protected], or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.