Ex-Michigan Gov. Snyder is latest Republican to back Biden

Election

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2018, file photo, former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Snyder says he has turned down a fellowship at Harvard University following social media backlash over his administration’s role in the Flint water crisis. He tweeted Wednesday, July 3, 2019, that being a senior research fellow would have been too “disruptive” because of “our current political environment and its lack of civility. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder backed Joe Biden for president on Thursday, becoming the latest high-profile Republican to support the Democratic nominee over President Donald Trump.

“Joe Biden is a man of deep faith and commitment to family, decency and integrity, which will serve us all well when he is in the White House,” Snyder said in a statement released after he announced his decision in a USA Today op-ed.

“We must elect Joe Biden in November so that we can begin the arduous but essential process of healing America and putting society back on a positive path where civility and working together help us achieve great things as a nation once again.”

In the op-ed, Snyder — who is known for staying positive — was uncharacteristically critical of Trump. He called him a “bully,” saying it is “tragedy watching our world suffer from one.” He said Trump lacks a moral compass, ignores the truth and does not fully appreciate public policy matters.

The announcement from Snyder, who served in battleground Michigan from 2011 through 2018, came in conjunction with the launch of Republicans and Independents for Biden, a coalition of nearly 100 former and current officeholders, government officials and political operatives. The group is affiliated and funded by the anti-Trump Lincoln Project PAC.

The coalition is the latest group of Republicans supporting Biden to come out publicly as Trump comes under criticism for his handling of the coronavirus and race relations. Some backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. Snyder did not endorse a candidate in that race, when Trump became the first Republican to win Michigan in 28 years.

Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who endorsed Biden at the recent Democratic National Convention along with former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, is chairing the group’s steering committee, which includes Snyder, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and at least 20 former members of Congress.

“More than 180,000 Americans are dead from a pandemic that, with consistent leadership, could have been contained,” Whitman said. “Instead, it has been left to spin out of control by a president who ignored it, refused to lead and endangered American lives.”

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