Rep. Francis Rooney at May 31, 2017 town hall meeting in Bonita Springs. (Photo: Author)
June 7, 2020 by David Silverberg
Conservative Republican Rep. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.), representing Southwest Florida, is considering supporting Democrat Joe Biden for president because Trump is “driving us all crazy” and Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic led to a death toll that “didn’t have to happen.”
Rooney’s remarks appeared yesterday in The New York Times, deep in an article titled, “Vote for Trump? These Republican Leaders Aren’t on the Bandwagon,” which was updated today.
Rooney said of Biden, according to the article, “What he’s always been is not scary. A lot of people that voted for President Trump did so because they did not like Hillary Clinton. I don’t see that happening with Joe Biden — how can you not like Joe Biden?”
Rooney was withholding a full endorsement, he said, because he was uncertain whether Biden would remain in the political mainstream.
According to the article, Rooney has been lobbied by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a Biden ally.
Rooney announced his retirement from Congress in October 2019, in large part because of the backlash that occurred when he said he was open to hearing the evidence of wrongdoing during the president’s impeachment trial. Since that announcement he has evidenced increasing disillusionment with Trump and the Republican Party.
Rooney’s change of heart is especially stunning because he ran in 2016 on a staunchly conservative platform and campaigned with Trump. In his first term he voted 97 percent of the time with Trump. Prior to his election he was a generous donor to the Republican Party and conservative causes.
Rooney’s statements came on the same day that former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced his endorsement of Joe Biden. The New York Times article detailed the disillusionment of former President George W. Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and military leaders with Trump.
Liberty lives in light
©2020 by David Silverberg