WASHINGTON • More than two dozen former Republican US lawmakers, including former senator Jeff Flake, endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president as the Republican National Convention opened on Monday, a rebuke to United States President Donald Trump by members of his own party.
The 27 former members of Congress joined a “Republicans for Biden” initiative organised by the Biden campaign to encourage Republican support for the Democrat, the Biden campaign said. They cited Mr Trump’s “corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency and urgent need to get the country back on course” as reasons for the move, according to a Biden campaign statement.
“I was a Republican long before the president ever called himself one, and I’ll be a Republican long after identifying as such is no longer useful to him,” Mr Flake said in a 16-minute video explaining his decision to endorse Mr Biden and vote for a Democratic presidential nominee for the first time.
“Given what we have experienced over the past four years, it’s not enough just to register our disapproval of the president. We need to elect someone else in his place, someone who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage,” he added.
The former lawmakers are only the latest Republican group to endorse Mr Biden and oppose Mr Trump in the Nov 3 election.
Separately, the Lincoln Project, one of the most prominent Republican-backed groups opposing Mr Trump, said on Monday that former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele had joined it as a senior adviser.
“The chair behind the Resolute Desk has always been bigger than any political party,” Mr Steele said. “Sadly, we have witnessed its occupant devolve into preying upon fears and resentments with narcissism that nurtures only chaos and confusion. Leadership is needed now more than ever.”
On Sunday, one of the Lincoln Project’s co-founders, Mr George Conway, and his wife, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, stepped down from their political roles, citing a need to spend time with family.
Last week, 73 former Republican national security officials, including former chiefs of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, endorsed Mr Biden while calling Mr Trump unfit to serve.