Former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh penned an op-ed Tuesday vowing to campaign for Sen. Bernard Sanders — or whoever wins the Democratic presidential nomination, for that matter — and scolding fellow “never-Trumpers” who are starting to waffle now that Mr. Sanders has emerged as a front-runner.
Mr. Walsh, a self-described “second-wave never-Trumper” who ended his Republican primary challenge against President Trump earlier this month, wrote that he “meant it” when he promised to never vote for the president.
“And if you’re a Republican who claimed the never-Trump label as a badge of honor during the last few years, to prove to the world that you’re a principled conservative, and not a Trump dupe, then you should have meant it, too,” he wrote in a piece for The Washington Post.
“Lots of politicians stink, and people hold their noses and vote for them, anyway,” he continued. “But if you’ve already gone on record as a never-Trumper, and now you’re saying that you’ll vote for Trump because you don’t like the alternative, you’re not holding your nose, you’re inhaling deeply.”
Mr. Walsh argued that being “never-Trump” means not only not voting for the president but casting a vote for his Democratic opponent, regardless of his or her extremism.
“I hate to break it to you, but if you’re really never-Trump, then you know there’s no except-if-he’s-a-socialist footnote,” he wrote. “There’s no but-she’s-way-too-professor-ish clause. Nothing in the fine print says the only acceptable Democratic alternative is another arrogant billionaire. I thought this was understood.
“It’s not my job to tell Democrats whom to choose,” he continued. What I can do, and what I have done, is pledge that I’ll vote for their nominee. Even Bernie. He and I hardly agree on anything, but if he’s the nominee, I won’t just vote for him, I’ll campaign for him.”
Mr. Walsh ended his piece by declaring he’d “rather have a socialist in the White House than a con man.”
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