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  /  News   /  Here are the prominent Republicans backing Biden over Trump

Here are the prominent Republicans backing Biden over Trump

Six months out from Election Day, a small handful of prominent Republicans have crossed party lines to support President Biden in his 2024 rematch against former President Trump. 

The endorsements come as most Republicans have started to coalesce around Trump.

Here are notable Republicans who say they’ll back Biden over Trump in November, as well as some critics of the former president who haven’t gone as far.

Republicans backing Biden

Geoff Duncan

Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) made headlines this week when he announced plans to cast his ballot for Biden while criticizing others in his party who “fall in line” with the former president.

“It’s disappointing to watch an increasing number of Republicans fall in line behind former president Donald Trump,” Duncan wrote in an op-ed published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, arguing the party’s fidelity to Trump leaves him “no choice but to pull the lever for Biden.” 

Duncan pointed to Trump’s legal woes, vowing to vote for “a decent person I disagree with on policy over a criminal defendant without a moral compass.” 

Michael Steele

“I get it with some Republicans who say, ‘Oh, I just can’t vote for a Democrat.’ But this is not — you’re voting for your country. You’re not voting for a Democrat, in this case,” said former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele in March on MSNBC, where he’s a political analyst. 

“I do get the idea that it is hard for some Republicans to go across the street. But baby, you need to do it,” Steele said. “The country needs you more than your party does, trust me.” 

Steele also endorsed Biden back in 2020, and worked with the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project.

Adam Kinzinger

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who served on the House Jan. 6 committee, has said he’d vote for Biden over Trump “in a heartbeat” this November. 

“While I don’t agree with all of Joe Biden’s policies, he’s not out to get democracy so I intend to vote for him,” Kinzinger said this week, as reported by The Guardian.

Kinzinger initially preferred former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another open Trump critic, but said there’s “no question” he’d cross party lines to pick Biden in a head-to-head match-up with the former president.

Sarah Matthews

Sarah Matthews, an ex-Trump staffer, told The Hill earlier this year that she wouldn’t cast a vote for her former boss this November in a head-to-head with Biden, and would back the incumbent instead.

“While I’ve never voted for a Democrat a day in my life, I would support Biden over Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee,” Matthews said. “I won’t support someone who refused to participate in a peaceful transfer of power, tried to overthrow a free and fair election, and incited a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.”

She resigned from her position after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. 

“Competency and experience” would be “out the window” in a second Trump term, Matthews said in an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta earlier this month.

Republicans who haven’t ruled out Biden

Cassidy Hutchinson

Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson last week became the latest prominent GOP figure to leave the door open to voting for Biden in November. 

“I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my life, but I would absolutely consider voting for Joe Biden this upcoming November because he will not seek to destroy our nation,” Hutchinson told an audience at Colorado Mesa University, per footage shared on the social platform X by Republicans Against Trump. “He will not seek to destroy our Constitution. And he has the statesman character that we need in an elected official.”

Hutchinson, the former assistant to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, was the first White House aide to publicly testify before the Jan. 6 panel. 

Mitt Romney

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who won the GOP nomination for the White House back in 2012, said earlier this year that he absolutely wouldn’t vote for Trump over Biden in November. 

No. No, no, absolutely not,” Romney told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on “The Source” when asked about the possibility. 

“Having a president who is so defaulted of character would have an enormous impact on the character of America,” he added. “And for me, that’s the primary consideration.”

However, it’s not clear if the retiring senator will throw his support behind the Democratic incumbent.

Liz Cheney

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who has promised to do whatever it takes to keep Trump out of office, has fueled speculation about whether she’ll make a formal endorsement of Biden this year. 

“There are some conservatives who are trying to make this claim that somehow Biden is a bigger risk than Trump,” Cheney said in January

“My view is I disagree with a lot of Joe Biden’s policies. We can survive bad policies. We cannot survive torching the Constitution.”

The former Wyoming congresswoman has not yet made a formal endorsement, however.

Mark Esper

Former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he’s “not there yet” on voting for Biden, but vowed not to vote for his former boss. 

“I’m definitely not voting for [Trump], but I’m not there yet,” Esper said in March when comedian Bill Maher asked on “Real Time with Bill Maher” whether he’d vote for the incumbent.

Esper became a vocal Trump critic after his former boss announced he fired the Defense secretary back in November 2020. He’s warned that Trump is a “threat to democracy.” 

Republicans who have ruled out both

Mike Pence

“It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” former Vice President Mike Pence said on Fox News in March.

Pence ran against his onetime running mate in this cycle’s Republican primary — but despite breaking from his former boss, he firmly said he won’t side with Biden. 

I would never vote for Joe Biden. I’m a Republican,” Pence said. 

Chris Christie

Christie, a onetime Trump ally who ran against him for the GOP nomination this cycle, has warned of a “vendetta tour” and dangers to democracy posed by another Trump term

“One thing I know for sure now is I’m not voting for Trump under any circumstances. If he’s the only person on the ballot, I’m not voting for Trump, because I know him too well, and he is wholly unfit to be president of the United States in every way you think,” Christie told The Washington Post last month. 

Despite the ardent Trump rejection, Christie said he didn’t think he could vote for Biden. 

“Biden, in my view, is past the sell-by date,” Christie said. “Right now, I couldn’t say to myself, ‘I think Joe Biden is capable of being president’ today, let alone at 86.”

Christie also called it “pretty stupid” for Biden not to reach out and ask the former New Jersey governor to support his 2024 bid after he left the Republican race. 

Paul Ryan

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said last week that he won’t vote for Trump, but will instead write in another candidate.

The presidency is “a job that requires the kind of character that he just doesn’t have,” Ryan said of Trump to Yahoo Finance at the Milken Global Institute Conference. 

“Having said that, I really disagree with [Biden] on policy,” Ryan added. “I wrote in a Republican the last time, I’m gonna write in a Republican this time.”

Ryan was Romney’s running mate in the 2012 presidential election. He then led the Republican House majority during Trump’s first two years in the Oval Office before leaving Congress in 2019 — and he’s since joined the chorus of outspoken Trump critics in the GOP. 

Asa Hutchinson

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who also lodged a bid for the GOP nomination this year, said he won’t endorse Trump or Biden. 

“I hope there will be those in the trenches who will push back against this takeover of the Republican Party and who will join the fight to reclaim the future,” Hutchinson said in an op-ed for USA Today this March. 

But “Biden’s weak border policies, his poor economic record and his slow growth energy policy do not justify reelection,” he added.