Donald Trump has caused a deep rift within the Republican Party that seems to be getting bigger with each passing day.
Just hours after a group of 50 top party officials signed a letter condemning their presidential nominee, a prominent GOP senator also opened up about repudiating the foul-mouthed business mogul.
“I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president,” Sen. Susan Collins said in an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Monday. “This is not a decision I make lightly, for I am a lifelong Republican. But Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.”
Collins is a four-term GOP senator who, like many other Republicans, held reservations about Trump for months. In fact, she even suggested that she might support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, a woman she respects despite their “very different philosophies,” if it comes to that.
In June, the Maine senator told The New Yorker that she is “not going to say never, because this has been such an unpredictable situation.” However, if her op-ed is any indication, Collins is done with the bigoted business mogul.
“Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values, nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country,” she wrote. “Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be president.”
Joining the ranks of Sens. Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk, Ben Sasse, Dean Heller, Ted Cruz and Jeff Flake among many others, Collins called Trump’s “constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize” an evidence of his “unsuitability for office.”
“I had hoped that we would see a ‘new’ Donald Trump as a general-election candidate — one who would focus on jobs and the economy, tone down his rhetoric, develop more thoughtful policies and, yes, apologize for ill-tempered rants,” she continued, noting that her final straw was Trump’s “inconceivable” attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan.
It appears the billionaire’s ongoing feud with the Gold Star parents of Muslim-American war hero, Capt. Humayun Khan, has helped many Republican officials in making up their minds about the resident hatemonger — including Collins.
“But the unpleasant reality that I have had to accept is that there will be no ‘new’ Donald Trump, just the same candidate who will slash and burn and trample anything and anyone he perceives as being in his way or an easy scapegoat,” Collins added.
Although Collins did not signal whom she will vote for come November, her strong words for Trump made it abundantly clear that prominent elected officials are abandoning Trump without any immediate political motive.
In fact, if Trump wins, Collins’ defection might affect her re-election in 2020.