Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, October 5, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
More than two dozen former Republican lawmakers have released a scathing open letter saying they cannot vote for the GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in the general election because he lacks the intelligence and temperament to be president.
“In nominating Donald Trump, the Republican Party has asked the people of the United States to entrust their future to a man who insults women, mocks the handicapped, urges that dissent be met with violence, seeks to impose religious tests for entry into the United States, and applies a de facto ethnicity test to judges,” reads the letter, which was signed by 30 former members of Congress.
“He offends our allies and praises dictators. His public statements are peppered with lies. He belittles our heroes and insults the parents of men who have died serving our country,” it continues.
Among the letter’s signatories are those former lawmakers who have openly denounced Trump from the start, including former Sen. Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire and Vin Weber, a former representative from Minnesota.    
However, more than half of the former members on the list are announcing their opposition to the party’s nominee for the first time.
“Every day brings a fresh revelation that highlights the unacceptable danger in electing him to lead our nation,” they say.
Former US Senator from New Hampshire Gordon Humphrey (C) is a leader in the "Never Trump" movement. (File photo by Reuters)
The letter makes no mention of Hillary Clinton, but organizer Andrew Weinstein said some signatories will vote for the Democratic nominee and others may vote for former Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, CNN reported.
"Given the enormous power of the office, every candidate for president must be judged rigorously in assessing whether he or she has the competence, intelligence, knowledge, understanding, empathy, judgment, and temperament necessary to keep America on a safe and steady course," the former lawmakers write. "Donald Trump fails on each of those measures, and he has proven himself manifestly unqualified to be president."
The signatories are also urging fellow Republicans not to vote for “this man whose disgraceful candidacy is indefensible.”
“This is no longer about our party; it’s now about America. We may differ on how we will cast our ballots in November but none of us will vote for Donald Trump.”
The letter was circulated among congressional Republicans by former Oklahoma Rep. Mickey Edwards and former Missouri Rep. Tom Coleman.
The following is the complete list of former Republican congressmen who signed the letter, as reported by CNN:
·         Steve Bartlett (TX)
·         Bob Bauman (MD)
·         Sherwood Boehlert (NY)
·         Jack Buechner (MO)
·         Tom Campbell (CA)
·         Bill Clinger (PA)
·         Tom Coleman (MO)
·         Geoff Davis (KY)
·         Mickey Edwards (OK)
·         Harris Fawell (IL)
·         Ed Foreman (TX, NM)
·         Amo Houghton, Jr. (NY)
·         Gordon Humphrey (Senator, NH)
·         Bob Inglis (SC)
·         Jim Kolbe (AZ)
·         Steve Kuykendall (CA)
·         Jim Leach (IA)
·         Pete McCloskey (CA)
·         Connie Morella (MD)
·         Mike Parker (MS)
·         Tom Petri (WI)
·         John Porter (IL)
·         Claudine Schneider (RI)
·         John "Joe" Schwarz (MI)
·         Chris Shays (CT)
·         Peter Smith (VT)
·         Edward Weber (OH)
·         Vin Weber (MN)
·         G. William Whitehurst (VA)
·         Dick Zimmer (NJ)
Trump’s campaign has been marred by controversy from the beginning, including disparaging remarks against immigrants, Muslims and women. The billionaire businessman has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US. He has vowed to deport all undocumented immigrants from the country and build a towering wall along the US-Mexico border.

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