Presidential races

GOP lawmaker to vote for Clinton

Greg Nash

Rep. Richard Hanna (N.Y.) on Tuesday became the first Republican in Congress to say he will vote for Hillary Clinton for president.

Hanna, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, harshly criticized GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in explaining his decision to vote for the Democratic nominee.

“I think Trump is a national embarrassment,” Hanna told The Syracuse Post Standard. “Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?

{mosads}“While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Ms. Clinton.”

Hanna on Tuesday also published an op-ed for The Syracuse Post Standard explaining his decision to shun Trump.

In it, Hanna criticizes Trump’s recent attacks on Ghazala and Khizr Khan, parents of a Muslim U.S. soldier who died serving in Iraq, who delivered a speech at the Democratic National Convention that was highly critical of Trump.

“In his latest foray of insults, Mr. Trump has parents of a slain U.S. soldier. Where do we draw the line?” Hanna asked.

“I thought it would have been when he alleged that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero because he was caught,” added Hanna, a three-term Republican.

“Or the countless other insults he’s proudly lobbed from behind the Republican presidential podium. For me, it’s not simply enough to denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.”

A number of Republicans in Congress have refused to endorse Trump, and several of the businessman’s rivals during the primary race, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are not supporting him this fall. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who finished second to Trump in the GOP primary, pointedly refused to endorse Trump at last month’s Republican National Convention. He urged Republicans to “vote their conscience” this fall.

Congressional leaders have offered support for Trump, even as they have expressed concerns about some of his statements. 

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) have both released statements in the last week distancing themselves from Trump’s remarks about the Khans, as well as comments Trump made at a press conference where he said he hoped Russia would obtain and release hacked emails from Clinton. Trump later said he was joking. 

Several polls released after the end of the Democratic convention suggest Clinton has emerged with new momentum.

An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll on Tuesday found Clinton with an 8-point lead over Trump, 50 percent to 42 percent. 

Tags Congress Democrats Donald Trump Hillary Clinton House John McCain Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan Republicans Ted Cruz

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