GOP lawmaker: I wouldn't vote for Cruz or Trump in November
© Getty Images

A centrist House Republican says he won't vote for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE or Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE in the November presidential election if either candidate becomes his party’s nominee.

When asked Tuesday by a local radio station whether he would support either man in the general election, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) laughed before replying, “I’m going to say this without equivocation: No.”

Hanna, who is retiring after the end of this year, has previously said he would never support Trump. But he’s not joining other establishment-minded Republicans — like Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill MORE (R-S.C.) or 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — in turning to Cruz as an alternative to Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Ted Cruz shut down the government. That’s his one accomplishment,” Hanna told WRVO, in reference to the 16-day shutdown in 2013.

“Do you really want these two men, one [Cruz] who said he would turn the Middle East to glass or another [Trump] who thinks it's even rational to try to deport 11 million people, to build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it?” Hanna added. "Ted Cruz wants to patrol Muslim neighborhoods. That's downright Orwellian and ridiculous on its face."

Hanna said his party seems unrecognizable in this year’s presidential primary campaign.

“This is going to offend some people, but you’re watching the requiem of a political party. This party used to be the party of common-sense fiscal conservatism. It’s become, I think, ideologically strangled, that it has become a victim of its own extremes,” Hanna said.

Yet Hanna was noncommittal about instead supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the only other remaining GOP candidate, in New York’s April 19 primary. Hanna has so far not endorsed any candidate.

“Of the people that are there, he’s most reasonable, thoughtful. I think he’s tried to be a gentleman through this, and clearly others have not,” Hanna said of Kasich.

When asked whether he would sit out the election if Trump or Cruz were the nominee, Hanna said he’s still waiting for an alternative.

“I’m going to watch, read, try to understand and wait for — I’m not going to speculate,” he said.

A handful of other centrist Republicans have also said they will never back Trump, including Reps. Bob Dold (Ill.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), along with fellow retiring lawmakers such as Reps. Scott RigellScott RigellSpanberger's GOP challenger raises over .8 million in third quarter Ex-Rep. Scott Taylor to seek old Virginia seat GOP rushes to embrace Trump MORE (Va.) and Reid RibbleReid James RibbleThe Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Influential Republicans threaten to form new party Former Sen. Tom Coburn dies at 72 MORE (Wis.). 

Curbelo, who previously endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBreak glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships MORE (Fla.) before they both dropped out, last week said he wouldn’t rule out voting for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE over Trump.