If you think that Donald Trump will garner the GOP vote merely because he’s running as a Republican, think again. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush just added his name to an ever-growing list of GOP leaders who publicly denounce the Trump candidacy.
Bush’s new anti-Trump stance is in complete opposition to his position last February. Four days prior to the New Hampshire primary election that he hoped to win, Jeb Bush told CNN, “I will support the Republican nominee no matter who he or she is. I’ve done it my whole entire life. I’ve signed a pledge to do it. I’ll do it.”
On Friday, Jeb’s Facebook page told a different story.
“Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy.”
Jeb isn’t the first Bush to back away from support of Donald Trump. Former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush made their announcements through spokesmen earlier this year. Nor is Jeb Bush the first prominent Republican to denounce Trump. On Friday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN that he won’t be voting for Trump.
“I don’t think he’s a reliable Republican conservative. I don’t believe that Donald Trump has the temperament and judgment to be commander in chief. I think Donald Trump is going to places where very few people have gone and I’m not going with him.”
Senator Graham cited five reasons why he’d “lost confidence” in Donald Trump. He referred to Trump’s criticism of Arizona Senator John McCain’s capture in Vietnam as well as Trump’s compliments toward Russian President Vladimir Putin. Senator Graham noted that Donald Trump spent “thousands of dollars” in an effort to prove that President Barack Obama was born in Africa, not Hawaii. Graham also said that Trump accused then-President George W. Bush of deception about American involvement in the Iraq War. In addition, Graham said he could not support Donald Trump due to the way he touts “wild ideas” such as linking Senator Ted Cruz’s father with the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963.
After he became aware of Graham’s interview with CNN, Donald Trump issued the following response.
“I fully understand why Lindsey Graham cannot support me. If I got beaten as badly as I beat him, and all the other candidates he endorsed, I would not be able to give my support either. Every time I see Lindsey Graham spew hate during interviews I ask why the media never questions how I single handily destroyed his hapless run for President. As a candidate who did not receive 1% in his own state — compared to my victory at nearly 40% with many others in the race — he has zero credibility. He was a poor representative and an embarrassment to the great people of South Carolina.”
Unlike Jeb Bush, who publicly supported Donald Trump until last week, Lindsey Graham has never backed the Trump candidacy. When he suspended his own campaign last December, Graham called Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” who should “go to hell.”
As of today, the only surviving former GOP presidential nominee that is expected to participate in the Republican convention this year is Bob Dole.