Exclusive: Hundreds of George W. Bush administration officials will back Biden, according to group


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hundreds of officials who worked for former Republican President George W. Bush will back White House Democratic candidate Joe Biden, people involved in the effort said, the latest Republican-led group to oppose the re-election of Donald Trump.

FILE PHOTO: US Democratic Presidential Candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden holds up his protective face mask as he talks about the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, June 30, 2020. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque – RC2TJH9IC016 / File Photo

The officials, which include cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking people in the Bush administration, have formed a political action committee, 43 Alumni for Biden, to support the former vice president in his November 3 career, three organizers told Reuters. of the group. Bush was the 43rd president of the country.

The Super PAC will launch on Wednesday with a website and Facebook page, they said. He plans to release “testimonial videos” praising Biden of the high-profile Republicans and will pursue efforts to get the vote in the most competitive states.

The group is the latest in a string of Republican organizations opposing Trump’s reelection, yet another sign that he has alienated some from his own party, most recently with his response to the coronavirus pandemic and national protests over the racial injustice and police brutality against blacks. Americans

“We know what is normal and what is abnormal, and what we are seeing is very abnormal. The President is a danger, ”said Jennifer Millikin, one of 43 Alumni organizers, who worked in the 2004 Bush re-election campaign and later in the General Service Administration.

The other two members who spoke to Reuters are Karen Kirksey and Kristopher Purcell. Purcell worked as a communications officer at the Bush White House. Kirksey was in the Bush 2000 campaign, and later in the Agriculture and Labor departments.

Millikin said the group was not yet ready to name all of its members or donors. You have to provide a list of initial donors to the Federal Election Commission by October.

The Bush office has been briefed on the group, but the former president is not involved and has not indicated whether he approves of its goals, he said.

Freddy Ford, a Bush spokesman, said Bush had withdrawn “and is not going to get into this election.”

Bush, who is still admired by many moderate Republicans, won praise for saying that the May 25 death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in police custody reflected “shocking failure,” and urged that he be heard. protesters.

Previously, he released a video calling on Americans to unite in the face of the pandemic.

‘COUNTRY ON PARTY’

Despite policy differences with Biden, “hundreds” of former Bush officials believe the Democrat has the integrity to meet America’s challenges, the 43 Alumni members said.

“This November, we are choosing the country over the party,” said Purcell. “We believe that a Biden administration will adhere to the rule of law … and restore the dignity and integrity of the White House.”

“We have really had overwhelming support for our efforts,” said Kirksey.

Like Super PAC, group members are prohibited by law from working or communicating with the Biden campaign, but they can raise unlimited amounts of money and post ads or hold events to support the candidate.

Biden’s campaign declined to comment.

Erin Perrine, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said of 43 Alumni for Biden: “This is the swamp once again trying to bring down the duly elected President of the United States.”

Dozens of former Republican national security officials will back Biden, claiming that Trump is a threat to the security of the United States, people involved in the effort told Reuters.

Trump has also received strong criticism from retired military leaders for his apparent attempts to involve the military in efforts to quell protests against racism.

Other Republican groups opposing his reelection include the Lincoln Project, co-founded by George Conway, husband of Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway.

Trump has expressed contempt for Republican and conservative figures who oppose him, saying on Twitter that Republicans “never succeed” are “human scum.”

Reports by Tim Reid, Soyoung Kim and Sonya Hepinstall Edition

Our Standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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