GOP speechwriter: I can't vote Trump
© Greg Nash

A GOP speechwriter said he can't back Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE for president and may cast his vote for Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE instead.

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"The reality is, I cannot vote for Donald Trump. I could never vote for Donald Trump," Richard J. Cross III, who worked on the speechwriting staff for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last month, wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in The Baltimore Sun.

"So instead, I am confronted by two painful choices: Vote for the most divisive political figure in the past 25 years or throw away my vote on a kooky Libertarian ticket."

In the piece, Cross described himself as a political moderate who has "always been GOP to the core."

Cross drafted the GOP convention speech given by Patricia Smith, the mother of an American killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The speech Smith gave included the line, "If Hillary Clinton can't give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?"

"But weeks after the end of the 2016 GOP convention, I am confronted by an inconvenient fact," Cross wrote in his op-ed.

"Despite what I wrote in that nationally televised speech about Hillary Clinton, I may yet have to vote for her because of the epic deficiencies of my own party's nominee."

He slammed Trump's proposal to implement a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country. He said Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan — whom he called his icons growing up — would never have proposed such an idea.
 
"Donald Trump has betrayed and perverted their legacies. Consequently, I no longer recognize my party," Cross wrote.

"I have never voted for a Democrat for federal office, but when I hear the president criticize the GOP nominee, I can't honestly disagree with him."

Cross said he has no "political home." The election, he said, should be about the future, but it is now more "about the misery of the moment."

He said the main question of 2016 is "are Muslim Americans an equal and welcome member of the American constituency." For him, he said the answer is a "clear yes."

The GOP nominee has embraced fear, he wrote, but that won't solve the issues facing this country.

"Still, the prospect of voting for Hillary Clinton is uncomfortable to me, as if Dr. Van Helsing were compelled to vote for Dracula," Cross wrote.

"But the only prospect more terrifying than voting for Hillary Clinton is not voting for her," he continued.

"The reality of American politics today is, she is the only choice."