Senator Susan Collins of Maine has joined the growing list of Republican lawmakers who say they won’t be casting ballots for Donald Trump in the US presidential election this November.
Collins is one of the country’s more moderate Republican senators, and is considered a figurehead of sorts for likeminded voters.
“I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president. This is not a decision I make lightly, for I am a lifelong Republican. But Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country,” she wrote in an Aug. 8 op-ed for The Washington Post.
She went on to defend several people who have been targeted by Trump’s rhetoric in recent months, including senatorial colleague John McCain of Arizona, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, and the parents of fallen US Army captain Humayun Khan.
“I am also deeply concerned that Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so,” Collins added, calling the candidate “reckless” for publicly raising doubts about the commitment of the US to its NATO allies.
“I had hoped that we would see a ‘new’ Donald Trump as a general-election candidate,” she wrote. “one who would focus on jobs and the economy, tone down his rhetoric, develop more thoughtful policies and, yes, apologize for ill-tempered rants. But the unpleasant reality that I have had to accept is that there will be no ‘new’ Donald Trump, just the same candidate who will slash and burn and trample anything and anyone he perceives as being in his way or an easy scapegoat.”