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‘Democracy is at stake’: Former Bush aides and staffers launch super PAC in support of Biden

  • July 02, 2020

Former officials from George W. Bush administration and campaign launched a super PAC in support of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, declaring they “knew it was time to take a stand.” 

The group of at least 200 former officials, aides and Cabinet secretaries formed 43 Alumni for Biden to block President Donald Trump from winning a second term, arguing on its website that “democracy is at stake” and there have been “far too many days filled with chaos emanating from the highest levels of government.” The group is not directly affiliated with Bush. 

“Our mission is clear, to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. Through our advocacy, 43 Alumni for Biden seeks 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 said many of its founding members are still Republicans and while “political differences may remain,” it was important to revive “civil, honest and robust policy discussions.”  

Fundraising:Joe Biden tops Donald Trump for second straight month

“You don’t have to agree with a president on all of his policy decisions or agenda. We ask them to go to the White House and do what they think is in the best interest of the country. That’s what we as alumni of George W. Bush did, and we think Joe Biden will deliver that as well,” said Kristopher Purcell, a member of the PAC’s organizing committee. Purcell worked in the Office of Communications in the White House and in the State Department during the Bush administration. 

The super PAC plans to roll out testimonial videos featuring high-profile Republicans and launch a voter turnout effort in key states, aimed at turning out disaffected Republican voters. 

The Trump campaign said 43 Alumni for Biden was the latest example of entrenched establishment opposition to Trump. 

In a statement, Erin Perrine, the Trump campaign’s director of press communications, said “this is the swamp – yet again – trying to take down the duly elected president.”

“President Trump is the leader of a united Republican Party where he has earned 94% of Republican votes during the primaries – something any former president of any party could only dream of,” she said.

The super PAC is not the first group of alienated conservatives to organize in opposition to Trump. Republican Voters against Trump and the Lincoln Project have run scathing ad campaigns in battleground states. And Right Side PAC was formed by former Republican operatives to mobilize turnout among GOP voters who don’t support the president. 

Though Bush is not directly tied to the group and has not endorsed a candidate, he has made several statements since Trump took office that appeared critical of the president. A spokesman told The Texas Tribune on Election Day 2016 that Bush did not vote for either Trump or Hillary Clinton. 

Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state under Bush, said last month he will be voting for Biden. Powell called Trump’s approach to politics “dangerous for our democracy.” 

Carly Fiorina, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has also endorsed Biden. Many other leading conservatives, including former members of Trump’s Cabinet such as John Bolton and James Mattis, have made it clear they do not support Trump’s reelection, though they have not said they plan to vote for Biden. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

More:Donald Trump attacks George W. Bush after the latter does a coronavirus video

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