Biden hopes for backing of former Republican staffers | Daily News


 

Biden hopes for backing of former Republican staffers

Supporters of Donald Trump and Joe Biden wave competing signs as the President’s convoy arrived at a golf course in Sterling, Virginia in this August 23, 2020 file photo.
Supporters of Donald Trump and Joe Biden wave competing signs as the President’s convoy arrived at a golf course in Sterling, Virginia in this August 23, 2020 file photo.

US: Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, striving to win over still-undecided voters who could swing the election against Donald Trump, is sparing no effort to broadcast one of his most potent weapons: endorsements from many of his former Republican opponents.

From handing Republican stalwarts prime-time speeches at the Democratic National Convention to welcoming endorsements from hundreds of former staffers to George W Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney, the Presidential challenger is waving his bipartisan credentials high.

But will it work? Kari Walker, a 50-year-old Wisconsin resident who has backed Republican candidates for two decades, plans to vote for Democrat Biden on November 3.

Walker, who two weeks ago told AFP she could not bring herself to vote for Trump -- “a worse president than I could have imagined” -- felt reaffirmed by the stance of the former Republican staffers.

“I found the support of GOP stalwarts to be persuasive,” said Walker, who with her husband owns a tavern in the small town of Reedsburg, in a county that backed Trump in 2016 after twice voting for Democrat Barack Obama.

“I would be voting for Biden regardless, but I appreciate GOP influencers crossing over,” she said in an email Friday, referring to the Grand Old Party, a traditional nickname for Republicans.

Walker is exactly the type of voter that the former vice president’s campaign hopes to lure by welcoming those from across the aisle.

While Obama’s former number two continues to lead Trump in polling nationwide, the president has narrowed the gap in certain key states, those that regularly “swing” back and forth between Republicans and Democrats -- and which can therefore decide a close election.

The billionaire Republican has been courting them openly, warning against the “anarchy” he says a Biden presidency would bring, which he says could lead to the “destruction” of the nation’s leafy -- and mostly white -- suburbs.

The Republican convention heard from some former Democrats, their presence designed to underscore Trump’s outreach to those crucial battleground states.

But Trump appears to be benefiting from less party-switching than Biden, who has worked to persuade voters disappointed, even disgusted, by Trump’s style and stewardship, notably of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 180,000 American lives.

“This is not an easy decision for Republicans to make,” wrote the former staffers for McCain, the late Republican senator and 2008 presidential candidate who had a mutually disdainful relationship with Trump.

“Given the incumbent president’s lack of competent leadership, his efforts to aggravate rather than bridge divisions among Americans, and his failure to uphold American values, we believe the election of former Vice President Biden is clearly in the national interest,” they wrote in an open letter.

The former Bush staff members sounded a similar tone.

- AFP

 


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