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Bush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT

Former President George W. Bush and Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden teams to meet with Trump administration agencies Paul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE (R-Utah) will not support President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit 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 BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' 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 PowellReinvesting in American leadership George W. Bush congratulates Biden, Harris Don't wait to start the transition 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: Obama's dire warnings about right-wing media Democrats' squabbling vindicates Biden non-campaign McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol 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 RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) and John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPrinciples to unify America Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats Obama on bipartisanship: 'There is a way to reach out and not be a sap' 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 MattisProgressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper Talk grows of Trump firings at Pentagon, CIA MORE issued a blistering statement condemning Trump’s handling of the protests over George Floyd’s death. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump administration denies permit for controversial Pebble Mine Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R-Alaska) also said last week that she was “struggling” with whether to vote for the president.