More than 100 Republicans signed a letter threatening to form a third party if the GOP does not move away from Donald Trump, The New York Times reports.
The group, which includes former governors, members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, and other GOP officials, is pushing the GOP to distance itself from Trump amid the party’s effort to oust Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
The group includes former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, former Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, and former Reps. Charlie Dent, Barbara Comstock, Reid Ribble, and Mickey Edwards.
“When in our democratic republic, forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise, it is the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice,” the group’s organizers said.
“Anonymous” Miles Taylor leads effort:
One of the organizers of the effort is Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff to ex-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who last year revealed he was the “anonymous” author of a New York Times op-ed and subsequent book about the “resistance” inside the Trump administration.
“This is a first step,” Taylor told the Times. “This is us saying that a group of more than 100 prominent Republicans think that the situation has gotten so dire with the Republican Party that it is now time to seriously consider whether an alternative might be the only option.”
“I’m still a Republican, but I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth because how quickly the party has divorced itself from truth and reason,” he added. “I’m one of those in the group that feels very strongly that if we can’t get the G.O.P. back to a rational party that supports free minds, free markets, and free people, I’m out and a lot of people are coming with me.”
Group plans big rollout:
The group is planning to release a formal statement on Thursday.
The statement will include a “Call for American Renewal” declaring that it is imperative to "either reimagine a party dedicated to our founding ideals or else hasten the creation of such an alternative."
The group will also release a list of 13 principles they want the Republican Party to embrace.
Taylor said the group will keep “defending the good Republicans out there,” citing Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, while “opposing the radicals” with third-party challenges.