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Thursday, August 24, 2017

As Donald Trump’s campaign continues to squash the competition — Ben Carson recently dropped out of the race, mercifully — Republican politicians and strategists are waking up to the fact that their party’s leading candidate has become a magnet for white supremacists, racists, and xenophobes from all over the country. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is just the latest in a number of Republicans who have said they will oppose Trump during the general election, should he win their party’s nomination. Here’s a list of all the prominent Republicans lawmakers and political personalities opposed to Trump’s rise to power:

Never Trump-ers:

Former Nixon and Ford Speechwriter Ben Stein

“But Mr. Trump, I think, is dangerously misinformed. I like him, but he’s dangerously misinformed.”

Nebaraska Senator Ben Sasse

“I hope it happens over the course of the next 30 to 60 days that the Republican Party again becomes the party of Abraham Lincoln, limited government and great human potential. I want to celebrate what’s great about America in the Republican Party, but if the Republican Party becomes the party of David Duke, Donald Trump, I’m out.”

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

“I’m not going to vote for him in November.”

South Carolina U.S. Representative Mark Sanford

“Not that political views mean anything in this year, but because I believe in constitutionally limited government, his candidacy is one I certainly can’t support.”

“You hear some of this kind of stuff and I find it frightening.”

Virginia U.S. Representative Scott Rigell

“I reject Trump as our nominee based on his judgment, temperament and character, all of which point to a reckless, embarrassing and ultimately dangerous presidency.   Just this past Sunday, Trump’s poor judgment was on display.  He failed not once, not twice, but three times to denounce the KKK and its onetime leader, the infamous racist, David Duke.  Looking a bit confused when asked about the KKK and Duke, Trump pleaded ignorance.  What void must exist in the heart of a person who when asked about the KKK has to struggle for even a moment as to what his position is?”

Former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman

“It is tempting, as Neville Chamberlain did in the face of Hitler’s rise, for polite people to respond to bombastic fascists by quietly ignoring them and hoping they will go away like reasonable people. But people like Donald Trump are neither polite nor reasonable. At times like this, good people must rise up, call out evil for what it is and stand against it.”

Former Republican Party Communication Director Doug Heye

“Because of Trump’s perversion of conservatism, along with the devastating impact he would have if nominated, I cannot support Donald Trump were he to win the Republican nomination.”

Republican Consultant Rick Wilson

“As a Republican governor, a senator, or member of Congress, or as a Republican candidate, let me remind you: You’re known by the company you keep. By associating yourself with or endorsing Trump, you own Trump’s toxic radioactivity with voters outside his base. You own his economic ignorance, his poisonous stupidity on every consequential matter of policy, and his lack of political and personal discretion. And you own it forever. The Internet—and ad-makers like me—never forget.”

Conservative Blogger Erick Erickson

“Explicitly stating our opposition, before he secures the nomination, will not stop people from saying we cost him the nomination. But in the historic record it will be clear we saw the rise of an authoritarian jackass, rejected him, and gave people ample time to heed the warnings before jumping off the cliff.

I will not vote for Donald Trump. Many people I know feel the same way. So as you go vote for Donald Trump, know you are casting your lot with a man who cannot beat the Democrats and who will lose support of long time Republicans in the process.”

Ricochet Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel

“If the keys are handed to a would-be strongman, I have no choice but to step out of the car and walk my own way. Unlike many in the GOP establishment, for me principle is always more important than power. My conscience can have it no other way.

I joined the Party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan. I will leave the Party of Trump.

If that makes me a bad Republican, so be it. I seek to be a good American.”

Glen Beck

“I know that I won’t go to the polls. I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton and I won’t vote for Donald Trump. I just won’t. And I know a lot of people that feel that way. I know people in the GOP who are like, look, well he is better that Hillary Clinton. Maybe, I don’t know. I mean the guy last night, he didn’t even know what the triad was. He didn’t even know what are the missile silos and the strategic air command with missiles on the planes and our nuclear submarines. He didn’t even know what that meant. He couldn’t answer that question. It was bizarre.”

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol

“I’ve been Sherman-esque—and more! […] I’ve said I would try to recruit a real conservative to run as a fourth (Bloomberg being the 3rd) party candidate.” […] “Dick Cheney-Tom Cotton would be the ideal ticket, but am working on others that approach that high level.”

Former Romney advisor commentator Kevin Madden

“For many Republicans, Trump is more than just a political choice.” […] “It’s a litmus test for character.” […] “I’m prepared to write somebody in so that I have a clear conscience.”

Top Romney strategist Stuart Stevens

“I will not give her [Clinton] my vote, but I can’t support Donald Trump.”

New York Times Columnist Peter Wehner

“If this scenario comes to pass, many Republicans will find themselves in a situation they once thought unimaginable: refusing to support the nominee of their party because it is the best thing that they can do for their party and their country.”

Iraq War cheerleader Robert Kagan

“So what to do now? The Republicans’ creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

Washington Examiner’s Managing Editor Philip Klein

“Some conservatives, such as Erick Erickson and my colleague Tim Carney have outlined reasons why they could never vote for him, so I thought it would be worth spelling out why I couldn’t – even in a general election against Hillary Clinton.”

Washington Examiner Senior Political Columnist Tim Carney

“Not all conservatives care about abortion. Not all Republicans are pro-life. But for those of us who are, a Trump nomination would mean disaster — both major party nominees would favor legal abortion and taxpayer subsidies of abortion.”

Conservative Iowa Radio Host Steve Deace

“Therefore, should Trump be the nominee I will not lend my name and an ounce of integrity to this reality television star’s charade. Now, should you feel compelled to vote for him because he’s not Hillary, I want you to know I won’t condemn you, either, provided you’re not being intellectually dishonest in the process.”

The Federalist’s Tom Nichols

“The answer, at least for me, is: Yes. If forced into a choice between Clinton and Trump, I will prefer Hillary Clinton. The future of the entire conservative movement is at stake, and a Clinton victory over Trump might be the only hope of saving it.”

Condemned Trump but have not said they won’t support him in the election:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell 

“‘Let me make it perfectly clear, Senate Republicans condemn David Duke [and] the KKK.” […] “That is not the view of Republicans that have been elected to the United States Senate.” […] “I condemn his comments in the most forceful way.”

House Majority Leader Paul Ryan

“If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games: They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry.” […] “This party does not prey on people’s prejudices—we appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln.” […] “We believe all people are created equal in the eyes of God and of our country. This is fundamental. And if someone wants to be our nominee, they must understand this. I hope this is the last time I need to speak out on this.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham

“Graham sheepishly admitted he would endorse Trump if he wins the nomination: ‘I’ve got a ticket on the Titanic. So I am like on the team that bought a ticket on the Titanic, after we saw the movie. This is what happens if you nominate Trump.'”

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