Republican Senator Susan Collins Says She’s Not Voting for Trump (Updated)

by davidkc –

Susan Collins

Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins has announced that she will not be voting for Donald Trump, making her the highest-profile Republican legislator to flee the sinking ship. In a op-ed just published online by The Washington Post, Collins writes that Trump “does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.”

With the passage of time, I have become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize. But it was his attacks directed at people who could not respond on an equal footing — either because they do not share his power or stature or because professional responsibility precluded them from engaging at such a level — that revealed Mr. Trump as unworthy of being our president.

Wow!

Collins cites three primary reasons for why she cannot support Trump:

1. His mocking of a reporter with disabilities.

2. His racist comments about Indiana Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

3. His comments about Gold Star parents of Capt. Humayun Khan.

Collins concludes:

Some will say that as a Republican I have an obligation to support my party’s nominee. I have thought long and hard about that, for being a Republican is part of what defines me as a person. I revere the history of my party, most particularly the value it has always placed on the worth and dignity of the individual, and I will continue to work across the country for Republican candidates. It is because of Mr. Trump’s inability and unwillingness to honor that legacy that I am unable to support his candidacy.

Collins’s decision confirms what I’ve been thinking for some time now. It doesn’t matter whether Trump successfully “pivots” to make himself appear to be qualified to be President (which will take A LOT more than reading successfully from a teleprompter). All the offensive, hateful, divisive, racist things he’s done and said over the last year are still out there and people won’t forget.

UPDATE:

In her WaPo op-ed Collins does not say who she will be voting for in November. But thanks to Roin for pointing out that last month she indicated to The New Yorker that she would not rule out voting for Hillary:

“I worked very well with Hillary when she was my colleague in the Senate and when she was Secretary of State,” Collins said. “But I do not anticipate voting for her this fall. I’m not going to say never, because this has been such an unpredictable situation, to say the least.”

UPDATE 2:

Per Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC tonight, Collins is the sixth sitting Republican Senator to declare publicly that she/he is not voting for Trump, and she is the most senior of the bunch, serving as a U.S. Senator since 1997. Other Republican Senators not backing Trump are Sen. Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Sen. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Sen. Dean Heller (Nevada), Sen. Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Sen. Mike Lee (Utah). (Note: As far as I can tell, Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona has not said definitively that he won’t vote for Trump; he’s always hedged his bets by saying he won’t vote for Trump “at this time” or that he “can’t see himself” voting for Trump. Talk about wishy-washy.)

UPDATE 3:

From the New York Times:

Collins’s opposition will probably make it far more difficult for Mr. Trump to compete in Maine, where he campaigned last week in an effort to scoop up at least one Electoral College vote. Ms. Collins is a popular figure there and her denunciation can be expected to land with force.

Ms. Collins did not say whom she would vote for.

LOL. Last week Rachel Maddow ridiculed the Trump campaign for wasting any time campaigning in Maine. Please Donald, spend more time in Maine!

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos