A veteran Republican strategist who advised John McCain during his 2008 presidential run, has announced he is quitting the GOP, claiming it has become fully the party of Donald Trump - “corrupt, indecent, and immoral”.
In a series of tweets blasting the party, the president and in which he declared he was planing to vote for the Democrats, Steve Schmidt, who also worked for George W Bush, said that with few exceptions, the party was now full of people who were acting like sycophants towards Mr Trump.
“With the exception of a few Governors like Baker, Hogan and Kasich it is filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonour the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders,” he said in tweet.
Mr Schmidt, who was also the campaign manager for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election in California, said the party’s leadership - at one time suspicious of Mr Trump - had now fallen into line because it did not want to antagonise his base supporters.
“Everyone of these complicit leaders will carry this shame through history,’ he said.
“There legacies will be ones of well earned ignominy. They have disgraced their country and brought dishonour to the party of Lincoln.”
While a recent Gallup poll found Mr Trump had a national approval rating of just 42 per cent, among Republicans it was as high as 87 - more than any other recent Republican president, with the exception of George W Bush in the days immediately after the 9/11 attacks.
Critics of Mr Trump on Capitol Hill have either been won over by his success in pushing through key Republican legislation, or else decided it is better for them to remain quiet. Many more moderate Republican have announced they are not seeking reelection.
Mr Schmidt also talked of of the mounting immigration controversy, triggered by the Trump administration’s decision to start separating migrant children from their parents if they try and enter the country illegally.
“This child separation policy is connected to the worst abuse of humanity in our history,” wrote Mr Schmidt.
“It is connected by the same evil that separated families during slavery and dislocated tribes and broke up Native American families. It is immoral and must be repudiated. Our country is in trouble. Our politics are badly broken.”
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