Rep. Richard Hanna, Republican congressman from Upstate New York, has decided he’s with her: Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, reports Syracuse.com.
The three-term member of the GOP, who is not running for re-election, is the first to announce he’ll cross party lines and, as Ted Cruz suggested last month in Cleveland, “vote his conscience.”
Hanna said in an opinion piece posted to New York State.com Tuesday he’s planning to vote for Clinton because Donald Trump is “unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.”
The 65-year-old congressman from Barneveld, N.Y., near Syracuse, said the last straw was the GOP nominee’s tongue-lashing of Khizr and Ghazala Khan following their speech endorsing Clinton at the Democratic National Convention last week in Philadelphia.
Hanna, who has split with his party before, said that he cannot fathom anyone criticizing Gold Star parents, who lost their son in combat, in service of his nation.
“I saw that and felt incensed,” Hanna said in an interview. “I was stunned by the callousness of his comments.”
Hanna added, “I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?”
Calling him “deeply flawed in endless ways” and “unrepentant,” Hannah let loose on Trump as no other Republican serving the nation has done so far:
“In his latest foray of insults, Mr. Trump has attacked the parents of a slain U.S. soldier. Where do we draw the line? I thought it would have been when he alleged that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero because he was caught. Or the countless other insults he’s proudly lobbed from behind the Republican presidential podium. For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.”
Asked about how his fellow Republicans in Congress might take his endorsement of Clinton, Hanna said, “I can’t look back in my life when I leave this job and know that I didn’t speak the truth when it was important to do so.”
Read his commentary here.