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Mike Coffman: History Has Its Eyes on You
Yesterday, Greg Sargent of the Washington Post called the question on GOP leaders who have yet to outright disavow their party’s presidential nominee.
“If individual Republicans don’t break off their support for Trump’s candidacy now — by, say, withdrawing their endorsements — they run the risk of having no choice but to do so after Trump sinks further into wretchedness and depravity…At that juncture, their move will look unprincipled and desperate, leaving them stained — perhaps irrevocably — with their previous willingness to stick by him during much of his descent, and depriving their break with him of whatever moral force it might have had if done earlier.”
The money quote in the piece is from former Jeb Bush advisor and Republican strategist Tim Miller, who stated, “If Republicans are going to have to disavow Trump eventually because of how bad his behavior has gotten, it is incumbent on them to get the political benefit of doing it when it’s a principled stand, rather than waiting until they are backed into a corner and there’s no other choice.”
Meanwhile, earlier today the first Republican elected official, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), announced he would support Hillary Clinton, and yesterday, prominent Republican strategist Sally Bradshaw indicated she would be willing to vote for Hillary Clinton.
When it comes to Rep. Mike Coffman, it’s clear that he thinks he can have it both ways. While he has made statements that express being “offended” by Donald Trump, he has yet to completely disavow his party’s nominee as other Republican leaders have begun to do.
Which begs the question, what more does Coffman need to hear from Donald Trump to completely withdraw his support?
Below, we present some of the recent and eloquent Republican and conservative calls for fellow GOP leaders to stand up and reject Trump:
Rep. Richard Hanna, Republican congressman: Rep. Hanna (R-NY), a three-term Republican congressman representing upstate New York, became the first sitting Republican Member of Congress or Senator to announce support for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Rep. Hanna saidthat Trump’s attacks on the Khan family made him feel “incensed … I was stunned by the callousness of his comments,” and noted, “I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?” Rep. Hanna further explained, “Where do we draw the line? I thought it would have been when he alleged that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero because he was caught. Or the countless other insults he’s proudly lobbed from behind the Republican presidential podium. For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country … I can’t look back in my life when I leave this job and know that I didn’t speak the truth when it was important to do so.”
Michael Gerson, conservative columnist and former Republican speechwriter: Gerson’s latest column calls on Republicans to withdraw support for Trump, putting his call for opposition into important historical and moral context: “Leaders who support Trump — members of Congress, conservative thinkers, figures of the religious right — do so for a variety of reasons. But whatever their motivations, they are encouraging an alternate and degraded version of the American story. In Trump’s telling, this is a nation that was once great but is now besieged and infiltrated by threats to its identity….And Trump’s America is defined as the familiar nation of decades past, which was largely white and Christian….Those who support Trump are setting the Republican Party at odds with the American story told by Lincoln and King: a nationalism defined by striving toward unifying ideals of freedom and human dignity. Is this what the speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader, the chairman of the Republican Party and so many other good people intended when they entered politics? Is this how they define their soul’s high purpose? In his last public address, the night before his murder, King mused on mortality, saying that he would die ‘happy’ and ‘not fearing any man’ because he was sure of his life’s mission, which included ‘standing up for the best in the American dream.’ Which Republican leaders can now rest in that confidence? It is not too late to repudiate.”
Sally Bradshaw, Republican strategist: Bradshaw, a close advisor to Jeb Bush, told CNN yesterday that she is leaving the Republican Party and is planning to vote for Hillary Clinton. Bradshaw said that the Republican Party is “at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist — a misogynist — a bigot … This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president … This election cycle is a test … As much as I don’t want another four years of (President Barack) Obama’s policies, I can’t look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump. I can’t tell them to love their neighbor and treat others the way they wanted to be treated, and then vote for Donald Trump. I won’t do it.”
Peter Wehner, former Reagan and Bush staffer and conservative author: Wehner tweeted, “Memo to Trump supporters: He’s a man of sadistic cruelty. With him there’s no bottom. Now go ahead & defend him.”
According to Alvina Vasquez, Director of Colorado’s Voice, “It’s not enough for Mike Coffman to be “offended” by Donald Trump. The immigrant community in Colorado is under attack by Donald Trump and his supporters. We need a strong leader here in Colorado who will stand up to the bullying of Donald Trump, not some politicians who wants to have his political cake and eat it too.”