As the Republican National Convention got under way Monday, Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, alongside more than two dozen former Republican members of Congress, endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
The Biden campaign announced that the former lawmakers joined its new “Republicans for Biden” program, also launched Monday, part of the campaign’s efforts to engage with Republicans considering voting for Biden.
Several of those on Biden campaign’s list had previously announced their support for the former vice president, including former Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent and former senators Gordon Humphrey and John Warner, of New Hampshire and Virginia respectively.
Most notable was Jeff Flake, who clashed with President Donald Trump during his time in the Senate and has made headlines since for his vocal opposition to the president.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post last September, Flake pushed Republicans not to support Trump’s bid for a second term, writing that the president had “proved to be so manifestly undeserving of the highest office that we have.”
Flake made remarks endorsing Biden on Monday, saying voters need to elect someone “who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage.”
The announcement of Republicans endorsing Biden was the latest in the Biden campaign’s strategy to attract moderate and conservative voters by showcasing notable Republican supporters.
Among the Republicans who spoke at the Democratic National Convention last week were former governors John Kasich and Christine Todd Whitman, of Ohio and New Jersey respectively, former Secretary of State Colin Power and former New York Representative Susan Molinari.
August 13, 1996: John Kasich and Susan Molinari address Republican National Convention.— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) August 18, 2020
August 17, 2020: John Kasich and Susan Molinari address Democratic National Convention. pic.twitter.com/OC2skT8MDq
In a statement to Fox News, the Trump campaign dismissed the Monday announcement of Republican support for Biden.
“Joe Biden has been a failure in the Washington Swamp for a half century, so no one should be surprised when Swamp creatures gather to protect one of their own,” said Trump campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh.
“President Trump has unprecedented support — over 95 percent — among real Republican voters and is also making strong inroads in Biden’s core Democrat constituencies, like Black Americans, Latinos, and union members. President Trump’s record of success for all Americans will carry him to victory in November.”
The Trump campaign will feature some of its own converts at the Republican National Convention, including New Jersey Representative Jeff Van Drew, who said last year he was switching to the Republican Party. Trump himself is scheduled to appear on every night of the convention.