Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, is among the Never Trumpers who have decided to try to boost centrist Republicans – a dying breed in a party still dominated by Trump and his allies.
Whitman is co-chair of the United States Democracy Center, a bipartisan effort to counter Trump’s attempts to overturn the election, and adviser to the Renewing the American Movement, another anti-Trump group led by Miles Taylor, who wrote a anonymous opinion essay in the New York Times when he was a Department of Homeland Security official in the Trump administration.
“I’m a Republican, so I hope we do well in the primaries,” Whitman said in an interview, referring to her centrist colleagues. Her hope, she added, was to help elect enough moderate Republicans to “give some backbone to some of the people who want to stand up and are so scared of the party leadership.”
In the Senate, however, where Democrats are more likely to retain their majority, it’s a different story. There, she works to help Democrats “at least so they can push back against some of the worst, most egregious things that are going to happen in the House,” she explained. In Arizona, for example, she plans to support Senator Mark Kelly, the incumbent Democrat.
Asked if she wants Republicans to win majorities in Congress, Whitman replied, “If we’re going to see far-right dominance, no.”
Frustration with Democrats
Several anti-Trump Republicans have expressed exasperation with the left wing of the Democratic Party, which they say misunderstands the political moment and too often embraces causes, such as police defunding, that resonate badly with swing voters. .
“I think there’s a lot of angst about Democrats,” said Charlie Sykes, founder and editor of The Bulwark, which has become a gathering place for anti-Trump commentators and activists.