There is an article in the New York Times that claims knowledge of the fact that former President George W. Bush will not be voting for President Trump in November. This isn’t much of a surprise, frankly, as Bush didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. In order to justify a claim about a former president’s decision, in favor of the Democrat candidate, of course, the author goes through a whole list of Republicans and former military officers who will not be supporting Trump.
Despite the fact that Trump has been more conservative than either Bush (father or son) as president in some areas, Republicans willing to vote for Joe Biden risk the loss of continued appointment of conservative judges, sustaining business-friendly regulations and cutting taxes. Apparently it is more important to voice disgust over how Trump speaks than voting in favor of actual policies. And many see the breaking point now over Trump’s handling of the Black Lives Matter protests.
Former President George W. Bush won’t support the re-election of Mr. Trump, and Jeb Bush isn’t sure how he’ll vote, say people familiar with their thinking. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah won’t back Mr. Trump and is deliberating whether to again write in his wife, Ann, or cast another ballot this November. Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, is almost certain to support Mr. Biden but is unsure how public to be about it because one of her sons is eying a run for office.
And former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced on Sunday that he will vote for Mr. Biden, telling CNN that Mr. Trump “lies about things” and Republicans in Congress won’t hold him accountable. Mr. Powell, who voted for former President Barack Obama as well as Hillary Clinton, said he was close to Mr. Biden politically and socially and had worked with him for more than 35 years. “I’ll be voting for him,” he said.
Colin Powell hasn’t voted as a Republican since it no longer suited his ambitions. He voted for Barack Obama, placing race over political philosophy, and he voted for Hillary Clinton. No doubt he is pals with Biden, too. The idea coming from anti-Trump reporters now is that these high profile names give cover to current Republican officeholders who are thinking of privately voting against Trump in November.
Admiral McRaven has joined the chorus of other retired military leaders who have come out against Trump.
“This fall, it’s time for new leadership in this country — Republican, Democrat or independent,” said William H. McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who directed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. “President Trump has shown he doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be a good commander in chief.”
Admiral McRaven, in an interview on the 76th anniversary of D-Day, noted that those wartime leaders inspired Americans with “their words, their actions and their humanity.”
In contrast, he said, Mr. Trump has failed his leadership test. “As we have struggled with the Covid pandemic and horrible acts of racism and injustice, this president has shown none of those qualities,” Admiral McRaven said. “The country needs to move forward without him at the helm.”
Politics in 2020 is a bare-knuckled battle. President Trump prides himself as the Fighter-in-Chief, especially when it comes to sticking up for himself. The “muh principles” chorus of Republicans and former Republicans fails to see the irony in ignoring past civility shown to the Republican nominee. Whether or not elected officials were pleased with the choice of nominee, everyone kept it to themselves publicly. Now even retired military officers are weighing in. It’s all a bit much.
None of these opinions will mean anything to Trump’s base of voters who are firmly behind him and enthusiastically ready to go to the polls and vote for his re-election. Independents, the ones that both parties are courting, may be turned off by the Democrats and their handling of the protests – ignoring the violence and destruction that threatens to move outside city limits – and that is a risk these public figures take when they justify speaking out with the president’s handling of the protests. Or, a strong law and order stance may backfire on Trump with Independents, we don’t know yet. The point is, their boldness may not be rewarded as they think it will. They are currying favor with the social justice warriors and it’s cheap pandering. Why? To sell more books or get more time on television?
George W. Bush isn’t going to vote for Trump. Neither is JEB! There is too much bitterness from 2016. George P. Bush, son of JEB! currently in office in Texas will likely vote for Trump, who has endorsed him in the past. George W.’s spokesman says the NYT article is fake news.
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.
“This is completely made up,” Ford said in an email. “He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.”
At this point, these public officials who are coming after Trump with criticism may fail to understand that the very reason they use now will likely benefit Trump in November. Depending how events play out, Trump will likely benefit with voters for sounding strong on law and order, in support of law enforcement. Suburban women want to feel secure and with Democrats continuing to deny violent protesters and chaos in cities, it will not bode well for Joe Biden. No one looks at Joe Biden and thinks “strength”.
Team Biden will roll out “Republicans for Biden” later in the campaign. He just doesn’t want to do it too soon because he knows the far left will be appalled at any perceived outreach to Republicans.
Mr. Biden himself, while eager to win support across party lines, intends to roll out his “Republicans for Biden” coalition later in the campaign, after fully consolidating his own party, according to Democrats familiar with the campaign’s planning.
We’ll see how this all plays out going forward.