Bush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT

Former President George W. Bush and Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police Senators aim to limit Trump's ability to remove troops from Germany MORE (R-Utah) will not support President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE’s reelection, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Several Republican leaders are struggling with whether to endorse the sitting president in his reelection campaign, with some considering endorsing or voting for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenCan Republicans handle the aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to supplant Trump in Georgia Trump's Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire MORE

Recent events involving Trump’s response to protests over police treatment of African Americans and the coronavirus pandemic have inspired an urgency among Republicans to decide whether to publicly discuss their voting plans for November, according to the Times.

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People familiar with George W. Bush’s thinking told the newspaper he will not back the president’s reelection and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), his brother, is not sure how he will vote.

Freddy Ford, a spokesman for the former president, told the Times that George W. Bush would not get involved in the elections and would speak only on policy issues like he did last week when he said the U.S. must “examine our tragic failures” on race. 

Romney will not support Trump and is considering writing in his wife’s name again or casting a different ballot, according to the Times. The 2012 Republican nominee told The Atlantic in February he would not back the president after he voted to convict him of abuse of power during the Senate impeachment trial.

Retired Gen. Colin PowellColin Luther PowellJuan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden Trump's tough talk on China sparks fears of geopolitical crisis Looking forward to pro sports after COVID blackout MORE, who served as the secretary of State under Bush, announced on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that he will be voting for Biden in November because Trump “lies about things.”

Powell’s declaration of support for Biden sparked sharp rebuke from Trump himself, who tweeted that the retired general was “a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars.”

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Another well-known GOP member, Cindy McCain, the widow of former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJuan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden Democrats lead in three battleground Senate races: poll Republican Scott Taylor wins Virginia primary, to face Elaine Luria in rematch MORE (R-Ariz.), is likely to back Biden in the race, but it’s unclear how public she will make her decision, the Times reported.

The Times noted that none of these Republicans had voted for the president in 2016 but added that their criticisms stand out because they are now denouncing a sitting president. 

Representatives for former Speakers Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) and John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLott says lobbying firm cut ties to prevent him from taking clients Lobbying firm cuts ties to Trent Lott amid national anti-racism protests Bush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT MORE (R-Ohio) declined to say how they would vote. 

Biden plans to release his “Republicans for Biden” coalition later in the campaign after working to unify the Democratic Party behind him, Democrats familiar with the campaign’s planning told the Times.

The reported debate among Republicans comes after former Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump insulted UK's May, called Germany's Merkel 'stupid' in calls: report Mattis urges people to wear masks in PSA about 'nasty little virus' Dozens of GOP ex-national security officials to form group to back Biden: report MORE issued a blistering statement condemning Trump’s handling of the protests over George Floyd’s death. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators will have access to intelligence on Russian bounties on US troops Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police Senators push to limit transfer of military-grade equipment to police MORE (R-Alaska) also said last week that she was “struggling” with whether to vote for the president.