Nearly 100 GOP, Independent officials launch group backing Biden

The coalition called "Republicans and Independents for Biden" launched Thursday.

September 03, 2020, 10:21 AM

More Republicans, including several high-profile former governors, came out Thursday in favor of the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.

He picked up the endorsement of a slate of nearly 100 current and former Republicans and Independent elected officials from across the country who announced they are joining efforts to back him over President Donald Trump.

In a press release Thursday morning, the newly-formed group deemed "Republicans and Independents for Biden" said its "sole mission" is to defeat Trump and help get Biden elected.

PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, accepts the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Aug. 20, 2020. At right, President Donald Trump speaks accepts the Republican presidential nomination, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, accepts the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 20, 2020. At right, President Donald Trump speaks accepts the Republican presidential nomination from the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington.
Keven Lamarque/Reuters,Evan Vucci/AP

The coalition is led by former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who has become one of the president's fiercest critics and was one of several Republicans to speak at the DNC last month.

"More than 180,000 Americans are dead from a pandemic that, with consistent leadership, could have been contained. Instead, it has been left to spin out of control by a President who ignored it, refused to lead, and endangered American lives," Whitman said in the release. "In this moment of great national crisis, we need to elect a leader matched to the moment, someone who can restore competence to the oval office and unify the country. Joe Biden is that leader."

PHOTO: Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention via video, Aug. 17, 2020.
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention via video, Aug. 17, 2020.
Democratic National Convention

The group says it will target Republican and right-leaning Independent voters in key battleground states.

Besides Whitman, the most high-profile names on the list, whose endorsements are part of the launch, are former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who served two terms, and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to Trump this election cycle.

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld waves to voters at the Webster Elementary School during the presidential primary on Feb. 11, 2020 in Manchester, N.H.
Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld waves to voters at the Webster Elementary School during the presidential primary on Feb. 11, 2020 in Manchester, N.H.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Snyder also penned an op-ed in USA Today Thursday morning labeling Trump a bully.

"Furthermore, President Trump's answer to people who oppose or disagree with them is to be verbally abusive. In other words, he is a bully," Snyder wrote. "Being a bully and being strong are not the same thing. Being strong is standing up for your convictions. Being a bully is trying to intimidate those who are perceived to be weaker or a threat. As a proud nerd, I had to deal with bullies over many years; it is tragedy watching our world suffer from one."

The launch of Republicans and Independents for Biden comes as nearly 500 current and former GOP officials have gone public in opposing a second term for the president of their own party since the Republican National Convention.

The group is affiliated with and will be funded by The Lincoln Project.

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