Bush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT

Former President George W. Bush and Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyIn Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line Trump-backed bills on election audits, illegal voting penalties expected to die in Texas legislature The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government MORE (R-Utah) will not support President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal 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 BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal 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 PowellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — House lawmakers eye military pay raise next year Memorial service for Colin Powell set for Nov. 5 at Washington National Cathedral 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 McCainGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Will Trump choose megalomania over country? Trump attacks Meghan McCain and her family 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 RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) and John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again 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 MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE issued a blistering statement condemning Trump’s handling of the protests over George Floyd’s death. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHouse passes bill to expand workplace protections for nursing mothers Democrats look for plan B on filibuster Senate will vote on John Lewis voting bill as soon as next week MORE (R-Alaska) also said last week that she was “struggling” with whether to vote for the president.