When it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, congressional Republicans fall into some distinct groups. The first, which is modest in size, includes GOP lawmakers who actually like the GOP nominee. The second is the party’s “Never Trump” contingent, which isn’t exactly a large group, either.
The third and largest faction is the “Let’s Make the Best of a Bad Situation” group, which seems to include practically every member of the GOP leadership.
As of today, there’s a brand new, fourth group – the pro-Clinton congressional Republican – a contingent with one member.
Rep. Richard Hanna becomes first congressional Republican to say he will vote for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.“For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country,” Hanna wrote in an oped for Syracuse.com. “While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton.”Hanna is retiring at the end of his term this year.
The op-ed is online here.
To put it mildly, for a sitting congressional Republican to endorse a Democratic presidential candidate is exceedingly rare. I remember in 2004 when then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island – a GOP senator at the time – announced he wouldn’t support then-President George W. Bush’s re-election, it was considered quite a story. But even then, Chafee didn’t endorse John Kerry; he instead announced he’d write in George H.W. Bush’s name.
It’s this recent history that makes Hanna’s announcement that much more significant.