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Former President George W. Bush will not support President Donald Trump’s re-election, the New York Times reported Saturday.
People familiar with the 43rd president’s thinking told the Times that Bush will not support Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
However, Freddy Ford, a spokesman for Bush, refuted the Times’ reporting. He said that Bush plans to speak publicly only on matters of policy — and that he has yet to decide which 2020 presidential candidate he will support.
“This is completely made up,” Ford told the Texas Tribune. “[Bush] is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.”
As TheBlaze reported, neither Bush nor his wife, Laura, voted for Trump in 2016. They did not vote for Hillary Clinton either, although they did vote.
According to the Times, other top Republicans will also not support Trump’s re-election. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) won’t support Trump, Jeb Bush is unsure of how he will vote, while Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, is reportedly considering casting her ballot for Biden.
Former top military officials and government officials who are Republicans or served Republican administrations also expressed dismay at the options in 2020, according to the Times. Even one sitting Republican congressman, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), told the Times he has considered voting for Biden because Trump is “driving us all crazy.”
“A lot of people that voted for President Trump did so because they did not like Hillary Clinton. I don’t see that happening with Joe Biden — how can you not like Joe Biden?” Rooney said.
In response to uncertainty in moderate Republican ranks, Biden’s campaign will begin reaching out to Republican voters uneasy about supporting Trump. From the Times:
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.
The public expressions of opposition to Mr. Trump from parts of the Republican and military establishment have accelerated in recent days over his repeated calls for protesters to be physically constrained, “dominated,” as he put it, and his administration’s order to forcefully clear the streets outside the White House so he could walk out for a photo opportunity. His conduct has convinced some leaders that they can no longer remain silent.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said that numerous Republican senators have told him they will not vote for Trump in the privacy of the voting booth.
“I’ve had five conversations with senators who tell me they are really struggling with supporting Trump,” Coons told the Times.