After not supporting Donald Trump in his initial run for president, George W. Bush reportedly has not changed his mind. The former president and Texas governor won’t be supporting the reelection of Trump, according to people familiar with his thinking, The New York Times reported Saturday. Additionally, the report said his brother, former Florida governor, Jeb Bush “isn't sure how he'll vote."
It is unclear who Bush plans to vote for and whether he will vote for Joe Biden instead. In 2016 both of the Bush brothers and their father former President George H.W. Bush said they did not vote for Trump. An official statement and confirmation from Bush are pending. When reached out for a comment, Freddy Ford, a spokesman for Bush, told The Texas Tribune that “Bush would steer clear of speaking publicly on his presidential vote and called The New York Times assertion false,” the outlet reported.
While the Times highlighted several other members of the Republican party who supposedly plan to vote outside of their party, a majority of the names mentioned did not vote for Trump in 2016. The Times also noted that those who served under Bush make up a bulk of the list. According to the report, Trump’s poor response to the coronavirus in addition to lack of leadership and reactions to the recent protests against police brutality has contributed to growing disfavor of him within the Republican party.
“This fall, it’s time for new leadership in this country — Republican, Democrat or independent,” William H. McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who directed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden said, according to The Times. “President Trump has shown he doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be a good commander in chief.” In an interview, he noted that wartime leaders inspire Americans with both their words and actions whereas Trump has done the opposite. “As we have struggled with the Covid pandemic and horrible acts of racism and injustice, this president has shown none of those qualities,” McRaven said. “The country needs to move forward without him at the helm.”
Others including John Kelly, Trump's former chief of staff and a retired Marine general, while not disclosing who they would vote for, expressed that they wished “some additional choices” were available. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is also listed as unsupportive of Trump’s re-election. Public opposition of Trump within his party has dramatically increased, the Times noted. Despite donating millions to Republican candidates throughout the years, Florida Rep. Francis Rooney said he is considering supporting Biden because Trump is “driving us all crazy.“
A number of Republicans have come together to defeat Trump, prompting Biden to even create a coalition titled “Republicans for Biden”, according to Democrats familiar with the campaign’s planning. “There is an organized effort about how to make our voices useful in 2020,” said Kori Schake, who worked at the National Security Council and State Department under President George W. Bush told the Times. According to Schake, several officials who worked for both Bush and former President Ronald Reagan signed a 2016 letter opposing Trump and are participating in Zoom chats and group emails that discuss how to express their opposition and whether an endorsement for Biden should be included.
Of course, Trump is salty hearing the news and did the one thing he may actually be good at doing —idiotically tweeting. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell joined Republicans publicly opposing Trump Sunday, prompting Trump to express his frustration on Twitter.
Powell told CNN that President Trump has not only "drifted away" from the Constitution but “lies about things” without being held accountable. "We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it," Powell said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Powell has voted Democratic for a number of years, he voted for former President Barack Obama as well as Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections. "I’m very close to Joe Biden in a social matter and political matter … he is now the candidate and I will be voting for him," Powell told CNN.