“We have expanded the Republican Party,” Donald Trump said in March after sweeping the Super Tuesday primaries. Judging by how much of the party has revolted against his candidacy since then, however, Trump appears to be doing the exact opposite. A significant chunk of the GOP is abjectly opposed to the party’s presumptive nominee, and it’s worth taking a look at exactly why Republicans oppose Donald Trump, in their own words.
For Democrats, the case against Trump is a no-brainer. His policy stances on immigration, reproductive rights, health care, gun control, foreign policy, and just about everything else directly violate the Democratic Party’s platform (not to mention his casual bigotry and sexism). There just isn’t much of a reason to support Trump if you’re a Democrat.
There is, by contrast, at least one potentially compelling reason for Republicans to get behind Trump: The desire to keep a Democrat out of the White House in 2017. It’s no secret that thwarting Democrats is a significant motivator for Republicans. Why, then, are so many prominent Republicans refusing to support Trump?
As it turns out, there are a whole lot of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with each other and some that might be surprising to Democrats. But enough from me — let’s hear Republicans against Trump explain their reasoning in their own words.
- “When you’ve got a guy favorably quoting Mussolini, I don’t care what party you’re in, I’m not voting for that guy.” —Former Virginia Attorney General and President of Senate Conservatives Fund Ken Cuccinelli said in regards to the Republican primaries, though this stance might not apply in the general election.
- “Trump lacks the judgment, character, and emotional stability to be president. Given his frequent public outbursts and lack of self-restraint, the thought of Mr. Trump controlling our military and nuclear weapons is unacceptable. The GOP, which has spent decades claiming to be the party of national security, should have been the first to declare Trump unfit for the presidency.” —Former George W. Bush staffer David Ross Meyers wrote for Fox News in an op-ed.
- “Watching his campaign over the past year, it seems he will say anything on any given day that he thinks will advance his position. In his heart of hearts — when he's not playing a role on TV — what does he believe in? Is there anything that is non-negotiable?” —Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost
Trump can say what he wants about uniting the Republican Party, but it's clear that many of his fellow Republicans are not planning on supporting him as their nominee.