Republican Congressman Richard Hanna will cross party lines in November to vote against Donald Trump, he announced on Tuesday. Hours later, a former top aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also came out to say she will back Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) said in an op-ed on Syracuse.com that he will cast his vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
He is the first Republican congressman to say he will vote for the former secretary of state.
“Electing Donald Trump will only make this worse, much worse,” wrote Hanna.
The congressman already said months ago that he was against Trump for “simple and personal reasons.”
“I found him profoundly offensive and narcissistic but as much as anything, a world-class panderer, anything but a leader,” he said.
Hanna, like a number of other prominent Republicans, condemned Trump for attacking the parents of a Muslim-American U.S. Army captain who died in Iraq in 2004, following their appearance at the Democratic National Convention last week.
The congressman also criticized his party, saying that the Republican Party is “becoming increasingly less capable of nominating a person who is electable as president.”
He also accused the party of alienating demographics like women, Hispanics, the LGBT community, young voters, and other groups.
“While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton. I will be hopeful and resolute in my belief that being a good American who loves his country is far more important than parties or winning and losing,” said Hanna.
He joins a list of Republicans who are not backing their party’s candidate. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are not supporting Trump.
Sen. Ted Cruz, who was the last remaining candidate against Trump during the primaries, refused to endorse the GOP candidate at the Republican National Convention, and suggested to Americans that they should “vote their conscience” in the elections.
Former Christie Aide Backing Clinton
Former longtime aide of Trump-ally Gov. Chris Christie, Maria Comella, said she is backing Clinton instead of the Republican candidate. Maria Comella, who worked with the New Jersey governor told CNN she made the decision to reject Trump after his comments on the Khan family.
“Donald Trump has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people’s anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the ‘other,'” said Comella.
Comella said that this November she will vote for Clinton instead.
“Instead of trying anything remotely like unifying the country, we have a nominee who would rather pick fights because he views it as positive news coverage,” she said.
“It may make him media savvy, but it doesn’t make him qualified or ready to be president,” she added.
Comella, who has worked with the Republican party for 15 years, said it is time for the GOP to speak up.
“Instead of speaking out against instances of bigotry, racism and inflammatory rhetoric whether it’s been against women, immigrants or Muslims, we made a calculus that it was better to say nothing at all in the interest of politics and winning elections. For me, if our party has a future, we have to change that trajectory and lead by example,” she said.
Republicans Keep Distance
Other Republicans have distanced themselves from their party’s presidential candidate’s remarks on the Khan family.
Christie, who endorsed Trump after he stepped out of the race in the primaries, said the candidate’s comments were “inappropriate.”
“I didn’t see Mr. Khan’s speech at the DNC, but I’ll just say this: I’m a father and I just cannot imagine the pain of losing a child under any circumstances,” said Christie at a news conference at the New Jersey State House in Trenton according to Politico.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who spoke at the RNC in favor of Trump, said the candidate could have handled the situation better.
“You have one person to attack: Hillary Clinton,” Giuliani said on “Fox and Friends.”
“You’re running against one person, don’t run against the world,” he added.
Rudy Giuliani: My advice to Trump is you have one person to attack, Hillary Clinton. Let us attack everyone else.https://t.co/Q5SfS9sEv2
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) August 2, 2016
‘Unfit’ to be President
President Obama said Trump is “unfit” to be president during a press conference on Tuesday, adding that the Republican candidate “keeps on proving it.”
Obama also called Republicans out over Trump.
“I think what’s been interesting is the repeated denunciations of his statements by leading Republicans, including the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, and prominent Republicans like John McCain,” said Obama.
“If you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?” the president asked Republicans.