Dozens of Republicans who used to work at the George W Bush White House plan on leaving the Republican Party. Their collective reason? Dismay over the failure of Republican lawmakers to disown former president Donald Trump. The former Bush officials hoped that Trump’s defeat in the last elections would lead the GOP to move on from the former president. They also expected the party to denounce claims on the allegations of election fraud that remained unproven.
‘No Longer the Party They Served’
Despite the January 6 riots and the calls for impeachment, Republican leaders threw their support with Trump. As a result, this prompted the ex-Bush officials to say they no longer recognize the party they serve. Some ended their membership, while others are just waiting for theirs to lapse. Then, there those who registered as independents.
“The Republican Party as I knew it no longer exists. I’d call it the cult of Trump,” said Jimmy Gurulé, former Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the Bush administration. In addition, Kristopher Purcell, a former Bush White House communications officer, said around 60 to 70 former Bush officials decided to leave the party or cut ties with it. Based on conversations with them, “The number is growing every day,” Purcell said. Meanwhile, former President George W Bush himself said during numerous occasions that he already retired from politics.
Internal Conflict Within the GOP
The defections of senior officials that spent their entire lives voting Republican shows cracks within the GOP. Consequently, this wedge divides Republicans who are pro-Trump and those who are not. Now, the party currently tries to manage itself between a loyal base of Trump supporters and a group of moderates and independents who disapprove of the party’s infatuation with the former president. According to GOP strategists, candidates who fail to get the support of both groups will have trouble winning national elections.
The Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel told Fox Business the current situation. “We’re having a little bit of a spat right now. But we are going to come together. We have to,” McDaniel said. However, she predicts that the party will eventually unite against the agenda of President Joe Biden, a Democrat.
‘Many of Us are Not Going Back’
The majority of Republicans in Congress voted to block certification of the national elections last January 6, hours after the Capitol riot. Afterward, most Republican Senators indicated through a motion vote that they will not support Trump’s impeachment efforts. This unwillingness to disavow Trump became the final straw for some former Republicans.
“If it continues to be the party of Trump, many of us are not going back. Unless the Senate convicts him and rids themselves of the Trump cancer, many of us will not be going back to vote for Republican leaders,” said Rosario Marin, a former US Treasurer under Bush. Meanwhile, Suzy DeFrancis, a GOP veteran who served during the tenures of former presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, voted for Biden. “I totally understand why people are frustrated and want to leave the party. I’ve had that feeling for 4 years,” DeFrancis said. Consequently, she said it’s critical the party unite around Republican principles such as limited government, personal responsibility, free enterprise, and a strong national defense.
Purcell said many felt had no choice over the matter. For example, he pointed to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a freshman Republican congresswoman from Georgia who promotes QAnon conspiracy theories. In addition, newly elected Representative Lauren Boebert from Colorado also gave her support to QAnon. “We have QAnon members of Congress. It’s appalling,” Purcell said.
Watch the Reuters news video reporting that GOP leaders break from Trump as he shows no remorse:
Do you agree with the reasons why senior Bush officials are leaving the Republican Party? Plus, do you feel the same with the GOP? Let us know what you think about the apparent internal conflict within the Republican Party. Leave your comments below.