While many major Republican figures like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have towed the party line and pledged their support to Donald Trump, there are some who refuse to back him — even if it means that Hillary Clinton will become the next President. In the wake of Trump’s “grab her” tapes, that list has grown even further Here are some notable names who see Trump as an opponent to conservative values.
Sen. Lindsey Graham has been one of the most outspoken conservative critics of Trump, calling frequently on fellow Republicans to pull their support for him. Following Trump’s derogatory comments against Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Graham said that at some point “there’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney has also been an early voice of dissent, telling the Wall Street Journal that he thinks Trump has “a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
While his brother and father have refrained from comment on Trump, Jeb Bush has continued his crusade against Donald even after losing to him in the primary. In a Washington Post column, Bush said he will not vote for Clinton or Trump and declared that “Trump’s abrasive, Know Nothing-like nativist rhetoric has blocked out sober discourse about how to tackle America’s big challenges.”
Jeb Bush’s mother and former first lady, Barbara Bush, also spoke out against Trump, telling CBS how she didn’t understand how women could vote for him after his comments against Megyn Kelly.
Hewlett Packard executive and Republican fundraiser Meg Whitman has called Trump “a dishonest demagogue,” who could lead the country “on a very dangerous journey.”
One of Jeb Bush’s aides, Sally Bradshaw, was so disgusted by Trump that she decided to leave the Republican Party all together. “Ultimately, I could not abide the hateful rhetoric of Donald Trump and his complete lack of principles and conservative philosophy,” she told CNN. “If and when the party regains its sanity, I’ll be ready to return.”
During the primary, former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman made it quite clear how he views Donald Trump in a Minneapolis Star-Tribune column: “I won’t vote for Donald Trump because of who he isn’t. He isn’t a Republican. He isn’t a conservative. He isn’t a truth teller. He’s not a uniter … I also won’t vote for Donald Trump because of who he is. A bigot. A misogynist. A fraud. A bully.”
Glenn Beck, a staunch Cruz supporter during the primary, has not joined other pundits like Sean Hannity on the Trump bandwagon. “Donald Trump is the face of the GOP. Well, that makes us crony capitalists. It makes us wafflers. It makes us pretty racist,” Beck said on his show in May. “It makes us big government guys. Just, you name it — it makes us that.”
In August, The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol got into a heated debate on CNN with conservative commentator Kayleigh McEnany over Trump. “You’re supporting a man who is utterly unfit to be President of the United States,” Kristol said. “For a second in your personal life you would not tolerate him. A bully, a man of genuinely bad character!”
Erick Erickson, editor of right-wing site The Resurgent, had this to say about Trump and his supporters: “This is not a game. This is not team sport. This is about the future of the country. If Donald Trump was unfit last month, two months ago, or last September to be placed in front of the nuclear button, he is unfit this month, next month, and in November.”
At a luncheon for the Federalist Society in June, Washington Post conservative columnist George Will said that he will no longer be registered as a Republican following Trump’s nomination. “This is not my party,” he said, noting that Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Trump was a factor in his decision to leave.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he will not vote for Trump or Clinton. In February, while voicing his support for Chris Christie during the primaries, Baker had this to say about Trump: “I think there’s a certain temperament and a certain collaborative nature that’s fundamental to somebody’s ability to succeed in government, and I question whether he has the temperament and the sense of purpose that’s associated with delivering on that.”
Former CIA and NSA head Michael Hayden was one of four Republican national security officials who signed a letter in August declaring they would not vote for Donald Trump, claiming he would “put at-risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, whose seat is up for grabs in November and is pictured right, was the first sitting GOP senator to pull his support of Trump. He has said that he will vote for a write-in candidate, though he hasn’t decided who that would be. He has previously said he would write in David Petraeus and Colin Powell for his vote.
While Paul Ryan has rescinded his opposition to Trump, another Wisconsin Republican, Rep. Reid Ribble, said he “would not compromise principle for a party.” When asked what he would say to Ryan about his endorsement, Ribble said that “he needs to make sure that his own principles and convictions” hold true, because after this is over, “you have only got that.”
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo became the first sitting Republican Senator to completely pull support of Trump in the wake of the release of a taped conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for Trump to withdraw from the election on Facebook. “As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth,” she wrote.
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a Twitter statement that he would not be voting for a Republican presidential candidate for the first time since becoming an American citizen, telling fellow Republicans that “it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty.”
After providing tepid support for Trump for several months, Sen. John McCain officially pulled his support following the release of the tapes. “Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy,” he wrote.
After rescinding an invitation to a GOP event in Wisconsin, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he would no longer be defending Trump and would be focused on supporting the campaigns of incumbent Republicans in Congress.
Ohio Governor John Kasich was one of Trump’s most vocal detractors during the primaries, and reiterated his plan to not vote for Trump following the tape release. “The actions of the last day are disgusting, but that’s not why I reached this decision, it has been an accumulation of his words and actions that many have been warning about,” he said in a statement.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was very, very clear about where she stood on the election after the tapes were released. “I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president,” she tweeted. “He has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.”
Former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman added his name to the anti-Trump list in October. “In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket,” Huntsman told The Salt Lake Tribune.
South Dakota Sen. John Thune, one of Mitch McConnell’s right hand men, has gone on record saying that Mike Pence should immediately replace Trump as the top of the Republican presidential ticket.