Speed Reads

2020 Campaign

Chris Coons says 5 GOP senators told him they are 'struggling' with supporting Trump's re-election

Several prominent Republicans have always struggled with the idea of President Trump sitting in the Oval Office, so it's not surprising to hear that the likes of former President George W. Bush, his brother and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), reportedly won't or may not support the president's re-election in November.

The New York Times notes that George W. Bush didn't vote for Trump in 2016, but "the reproach of big Republican names carries a different weight when an incumbent president and his shared agenda with Senate leaders are on the line." Still, the Bushes and McCain, as well as several retired lawmakers and military leaders who may not back the president, are able to do so without putting their own positions at risk. Sitting GOP lawmakers who are grappling with whether to vote for Trump are the ones who may have a tougher decision to make.

For some, it's easy. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) won't cast his ballot for Trump, but others, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), are on the fence. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who the Times reports is serving as presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's de facto emissary to Republicans in Congress, said he thinks multiple GOP senators won't vote for Trump, even if they don't admit it publicly. "I've had five conversations with senators who tell me they are really struggling with supporting Trump," Coons told the Times, without revealing the names.

Coons' claim seems to have some truth to it. An anonymous Republican senator who is publicly supporting Trump said in an interview with the Times that, as long as the Republicans keep their Senate majority, he might prefer a Biden victory. Read more at The New York Times.