The list of Biden endorsers includes former Trump administration officials; former Republican senators, representatives, and governors; and hundreds of former GOP national security officials.
The vast majority of Republican politicians and voters support President Donald Trump, but dozens of other high-profile Republicans have come out in support of the Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden.
As of Oct. 21, 2020, the list of Republicans who have endorsed the former vice president includes:
- Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general, released a video for Republican Voters Against Trump throwing his support behind Biden, saying President Trump “doesn’t care about facts” and “ doesn’t keep the country safe.”
- Ted O’Meara, the former chair of the Maine Republican Party, endorsed Biden in a blistering op-ed that referred to his now former party as “a cult that blindly follows an unhinged narcissist who is perhaps the most ignorant, lawless and dangerous person to ever occupy the Oval Office.”
- More than 50 Republican former national security officials, including Greg Brower, a former FBI assistant director; Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff; and Alden Munson, former deputy director of National Intelligence, endorsed Biden at the start of October.
- Marc Racicot, the former Montana governor and chairman of the Republican National Committee under former President George W. Bush, told the New York Times he couldn’t support Trump because “he’s dangerous to the existence of the republic as we know it.”
- Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge—who also served as the nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security—urged other Pennsylvanians to join him in voting for Biden in an op-ed published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sept. 27.
- Cindy McCain, the widow of former Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, came out in support of Biden in September. The moment that caused her to go publish with her support, she told the New York Times, was Trump’s comments disparaging members of the military; both of her sons served in the armed forces. Her daughter and co-host of The View, Meghan McCain, has also indicated she will vote for Biden.
- Olivia Troye, a lifelong Republican, spent two years as Vice President Mike Pence’s Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser. She said it was clear from the start that Trump didn’t care about saving American lives, he was more concerned about his re-election.
- In a scathing Detroit Free Press op-ed, former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder called Trump a “bully” and said he would vote for Biden because of the “need to bring back civility to our nation.”
- Former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who has previously criticized Trump, was one of roughly two dozen former House and Senate Republicans to endorse Biden hours ahead of the Republican National Convention.
- Former Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, who resigned in 2018 after refusing to vote for Trump two years earlier. Dent criticized Trump for cozying up to dictators and called Biden a “a decent and honorable man.”
- Former New York Congresswoman Susan Molinari, who praised Biden for his work on women’s issues at the Democratic National Convention and said Trump’s presidency had been “disappointing” and “disturbing.”
- John Bellinger III and Ken Wainstein, two former national security officials under George W. Bush, formed a group of more than 50 former Republican U.S. national security officials who endorsed Biden for president. The group called Trump “unfit to lead” and said his leadership has put America at risk and “gravely damaged America’s role as world leader.”
- Miles Taylor, who served as chief of staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the Trump administration, recorded an ad for Republican Voters Against Trump and said Trump had divided the nation and made Americans “profoundly less safe.”
- Meg Whitman, the former Republican candidate for the governor of California, and CEO of the video streaming start-up Quibi, appeared at the virtual DNC to announce her support for Biden.
- Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (no relation to Meg), a self-proclaimed “lifelong” Republican who has long opposed Trump, also endorsed Biden at the DNC.
- Former Sens. John Warner of Virginia and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire, both of whom endorsed Biden earlier this year.
- Bill Kristol, a neoconservative political analyst who served as chief of staff to then-vice president Dan Quayle, created Republican Voters Against Trump alongside Republican consultants Tim Miller and Sarah Longwell.
- Carly Fiorina, the 2016 Republican presidential candidate and later Ted Cruz’s running mate, has said she plans to vote for Biden.
- John Farner, a lifelong Republican and former employee of the George W. Bush administration’s Commerce Department, will vote for Biden and has organized a group called 43 Alumni for Biden which includes hundreds of his former co-workers.
- Former defense official and Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel has endorsed Biden, calling Trump “corrupt” and accusing him of “degrading the office of the presidency.”
- Jeff Timmer, former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, is working as an advisor to the Lincoln Project to help Biden win in Michigan.
- Former secretary of state and Republican Colin Powell, who endorsed Biden earlier this month and said Trump has “drifted away” from the Constitution and poses a threat to Democracy.
- Trump’s former secretary of defense and retired four-star Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, who published a scathing denunciation of Trump earlier this month: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.”
- Trump’s former chief of staff, retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, said earlier this month that he agreed with Mattis’ statement and that “we need to look harder at who we elect.”
- Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has made clear that he will not vote for Trump this November.
- Rick Wilson, John Weaver, Steve Schmidt, and George Conway, a group of formerly influential Republican campaign strategists, lawyers, and media figures who formed an anti-Trump organization dubbed the Lincoln Project, have endorsed Biden.
- Conservative commentator George Will wrote a scathing op-ed about Trump in the Washington Post this month, calling for Trump to be “removed” from the presidency.
- Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and current advisor to the Lincoln Project, penned an op-ed for NBC News this week endorsing Biden. Steele, who has frequently criticized Trump, wrote: “The leader we choose matters. I cannot be silent, and I hope neither can you because we know a vote for Joe Biden is what is best for our country—because America matters.”
- Jerushah Duford, granddaughter of evangelical icon and staunch conservative Billy Graham, has criticized Trump for his “attempt to hijack our faith.” Duford, who is part of the group Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden, endorsed the former vice president in October.
- Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who was once fired for comments he made about Biden, endorsed the former vice president in October, saying Biden would be better for the country than Trump. “You have to believe your commander in chief, at the end of the day, is someone you can trust,” General McChrystal told NBC’s Morning Joe. “And I can trust Joe Biden.”
- Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, endorsed Biden in an October op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “Truth be told, I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense and a national-anthem-standing conservative,” McRaven wrote. But he also said that “we need a president who understands the importance of American leadership, at home and abroad. We need a leader of integrity.”
Trump has repeatedly attacked Republicans who’ve dared oppose him. In a tweet last year, he derided such “Never Trumper Republicans” as “human scum.”
It’s not just influential Republicans who are abandoning Trump. Republican voters also appear to be jumping ship. Senior citizens, once a reliable Republican voting block, have also shifted to Biden, and a significant number of white Christians also appear to be drifting from the president.
If that holds come November, the “Never Trumper Republicans” may get their wish and make Donald Trump a one-term president.
Former Republican Gov. John Kasich to Speak at DNC
Updated Aug. 17, 2020
Republican John Kasich will take the virtual stage Monday on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, where he will speak in support of the party’s presumptive nominee for president, Joe Biden.
A longtime critic of Trump’s, Kasich refused to endorse Trump in 2016 and did not vote for him, instead writing in former Arizona Sen. John McCain’s name. This time around, he’s going further, endorsing Biden.
“My Republican affiliation is outweighed by my concern about the direction of the country,” Kasich, a former governor of Ohio and Republican presidential candidate, told BuzzFeed News in an interview.
Kasich’s speaking slot has generated controversy among the Democratic party’s progressive base, who have blasted his conservative record on issues like abortion and labor rights. But his appearance underscores the broad ideological coalition Biden is building in his quest to unseat President Donald Trump.
Kasich will share the evening with several high-profile Democrats, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont—a Democratic socialist—and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
More Top Military Officials Plan to Abandon Trump, Endorse Biden
Published June 24, 2020
Dozens of Republican former U.S. national security officials plan to endorse Joe Biden for president, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The former officials will form a group and unveil their public endorsement in the coming weeks. Members of the group—which includes at least two dozen officials who served under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush—also plan to campaign on Biden’s behalf, arguing that a second Trump term would put U.S. national security at risk. They plan to encourage Republicans to vote for Biden, despite policy differences, according to Reuters.
The group is reportedly being led by John Bellinger III and Ken Wainstein, both of whom held senior roles under George W. Bush. Bellinger served as legal adviser to the National Security Council and State Department, and Wainstein served as Bush’s homeland security adviser and as chief of staff to former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
“Trump pals around with dictators. He’s a real danger,” a person involved in the group told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The formation of the group comes as Trump’s re-election prospects have dimmed due to his handling of the coronavirus crisis and his response to the nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd. A New York Times/Siena College poll released Wednesday found Biden leading Trump by 14 points among registered voters, 50-36. That mirrors the results of other recent polls, including a Fox News Poll that found Biden up by 12 points.
Bellinger, Wainstein, and Blackwill previously expressed opposition to Trump. They were among a group of about 50 Republicans who signed an August 2016 letter warning of the risks of a Trump presidency and announcing that they would not vote for him.
Other prominent Republicans may soon join them. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said recently that she is “struggling” with whether to vote for Trump. John Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, said this week that Trump was unfit to be president and that he would not be voting for him.
The U.S. defense community has also ramped up its criticisms of Trump. A bipartisan group of 89 former defense department officials took to the pages of the Washington Post earlier this month to criticize Trump’s threat to use the U.S. military against protesters. Some of those defense officials—including former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel—have also endorsed Biden.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley has also publicly apologized for his presence at Trump’s controversial photo op on June 1, which saw law enforcement violently clear protesters from Lafayette Square so that Trump could walk from the White House to St. John’s Church to be photographed holding a bible. “I should not have been there,” Milley said.
While Milley has not publicly endorsed Biden, a member of the new group told Reuters that his statement was still critical. “Powell, Mattis, Milley – they have galvanized people to support Joe Biden,” the person involved in the new group told Reuters.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 10:52 a.m.): This story has been updated with additional endorsements.