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Former GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger endorses Biden, whose campaign wants to unseat anti-Trump Republicans

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger has endorsed the president Joe Biden Wednesday, giving the Democrat a new high-profile ally in his high-stakes campaign to win over moderate Republicans and independents this fall.

Kinzinger, a military pilot who emerged as a staunch critic of the former president Donald Trump After the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supportersdescribed Trump as “a direct threat to all core American values” in a video announcing Biden’s endorsement.

“While I certainly don’t agree with President Biden on everything, and never thought I would support a Democrat for president, I know he will always protect what makes America the greatest country of the world: our democracy. said Kinzinger, who voted for Trump in 2020.

The former Illinois congressman also issued an ominous warning. Trump, he said, “will harm anyone or anything in his quest for power.”

Kinzinger’s announcement comes on the eve of the opening presidential debate and gives Biden an example he can bring up Thursday night, that of a well-known Republican who supports him against Trump. The Biden camp is prioritizing outreach to moderate Republicans and independents alienated by Trump’s tumultuous tenure in the White House.

Kinzinger becomes the highest-profile Republican official officially supporting Biden, whose campaign earlier this month tapped Kinzinger’s former chief of staff, Austin Weatherford, to become its national Republican outreach director. Former Republican Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Geoff Duncan also endorsed Biden last month.

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Ultimately, a number of prominent Republicans are expected to join Biden’s campaign, and more influential names will likely be announced as the campaign approaches. the November elections.

Shortly after Kinzinger announced his decision, Biden shared the endorsement video on social media and said he was grateful for the Republican’s support.

“This is what putting your country before your party looks like,” Biden wrote on X.

Biden’s team is trying to create what it calls “an authorization structure” for Republican voters who would otherwise have difficulty voting for the Democratic president.

Kinzinger developed a national profile as one of two Republicans who served on the House investigating committee. the attack of January 6, 2021. The commission highlighted a number of Trump’s transgressions before and during the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol as Congress attempted to certify the election results for Biden.

Kinzinger, who did not seek re-election in 2022 after voting for impeach trump for his role in the Jan. 6 attack, called on the GOP to change course.

“To all Americans of all political parties and those of no party, I say this is not the time to quietly watch Donald Trump threaten the future of America,” said Kinzinger, who repeatedly described as a conservative in the video. “Now is the time to unite behind Joe Biden and remove Donald Trump from the scene once and for all. »

In a statement Wednesday, Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez described Kinzinger as “a true public servant who is a role model for putting our country and our democracy ahead of party and blind acquiescence to Trump.”

“Congressman Kinzinger represents the countless Americans that Donald Trump’s Republican Party has left behind,” she said. “These Americans have a place in President Biden’s coalition, and our campaign knows we need to show up and earn their support. »

Trump and his allies have long rejected Kinzinger’s efforts to rally Republicans against him. The former president publicly celebrated Kinzinger’s failure to seek re-election and called for charges against Kinzinger and others who served on the Jan. 6 committee, part of his pattern of suggesting that his opponents are exposed to reprisals from the government.

Biden has been particularly focused on courting supporters of former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who continued to win over a significant number of anti-Trump Republican primary voters throughout the spring, even after suspending her campaign .

As part of Biden’s sustained outreach to moderate voters in both parties, his campaign released an ad highlighting Trump’s often personal attacks on Haley, including his primary nickname of her as “birdbrain” and the suggestion that “she’s not presidential wood.”

Haley said last month she would vote for Trump in the general elections.

Indeed, Trump’s grip on his party’s passionate base is stronger than ever. And the overwhelming majority of Republican elected officials support his 2024 campaign, even those, like Haley, who worked against him during the primary phase of the campaign.

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Follow AP coverage of the 2024 elections at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

News Source : apnews.com
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