Several former allies of President George W. Bush have launched a super PAC to stop Donald Trump’s reelection. The group, called 43 Alumni for Biden, is composed of former White House and campaign staff who worked under President Bush, and who view Mr. Trump’s presidency as an existential threat.
According to a release on Wednesday, the group aims to “unite and mobilize a community of historically Republican voters who are dismayed and disappointed by the damage done to our nation by Donald Trump’s presidency.” The group is just the latest coalition of disaffected Republicans trying to oust the current commander-in-chief.
For Biden But Not With Biden
The new political action committee is crossing party lines by endorsing Joe Biden, the Democratic former Vice President. But that doesn’t mean it embraces the full Democratic Party platform.
Karen Kirksey, the group’s director, worked on Bush’s 2000 campaign and as part of his administration. She says that her support for the Democratic candidate in 2020 is “not necessarily in full support of his political agenda.” Rather, she is calling on rational Republicans to vote for Biden “in full agreement with the urgent need to restore the soul of this nation.”
“For four years, we have watched with grave concern as the party we loved has morphed into a cult of personality that little resembles the Party of Lincoln and Reagan,” Kirksey said in a statement. “Once elected, we look forward to working in a bipartisan way through civil, spirited debate on the many important issues facing Americans today and for decades to come.”
Meanwhile, Kristopher Purcell, another veteran of the Bush White House, says that the endorsement is about restoring normalcy and stability in a time of unprecedented crisis. “A lot of us who worked in government, who have held positions of public integrity,” he told CNN, “we know what normal is. We’re seeing now what abnormal is and we’re seeing the damage it can do to the country. We’re seeing the way it can divide the country.”
“The reason we’re supporting former Vice President Biden,” Purcell continued, “is we believe he can bring stability to the country and honor and integrity back to the White House. The leadership and moral authority of the United States has been incredibly damaged.”
A Growing List of Republican Defectors
43 Alumni for Biden now joins a growing list of Republican groups trying to thwart Trump’s reelection. Last month, a group of Republican operatives led by Matt Borges initiated “Right Side PAC.” It’s stated goal is to embolden “that group of Republicans who feels that Donald Trump is an existential threat to the country and this party.”
In May, a coalition called Republican Voters Against Trump launched a $10 million ad blitz, targeting swing state constituents who usually vote Republican. It encourages these voters to support Biden.
And in late 2019, a group of Never Trump Republicans formed the Lincoln Project, a thinktank designed to oust the President. Among its founders is George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, Special Counsel to President Trump. (The couple’s political disagreements have made for tabloid fodder, and one bizarre SNL sketch).