Rep. Richard Hanna on Tuesday became the first GOP member of Congress to say he will vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president instead of Republican candidate Donald Trump, castigating the business mogul as “unfit to serve our party.”
Hanna, a three-term congressman who represents the 22nd District in upstate New York, wrote in an op-ed for Syracuse.com that he disagreed with Clinton, but could not vote for a man who was “unrepentant in all things.”
“I do not expect perfection, but I do require more than the embodiment of at least a short list of the seven deadly sins,” Hanna wrote.
The written rebuke of Trump comes amid the newest controversy swirling around the GOP nominee, as Trump continues a war of words with the father of a Muslim U.S. Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004. In his piece, Hanna also referenced Trump’s year-old attack against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who Trump seemed to dispute was a war hero because he was “captured.”
“Or the countless other insults he's proudly lobbed from behind the Republican presidential podium,” Hanna wrote. “For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.”
Hanna, who is retiring at the end of his term, has often broken with the Republican party line. A member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Hanna has supported same-sex marriage since 2013. He’s voted against cuts to Planned Parenthood, and told a crowd of mostly women in 2012 to “contribute your money” to Democrats because they “speak out on your behalf.”
But his reasons for supporting Clinton go beyond simply refusing to cast a ballot for Trump. Hanna wrote that Clinton “has stood for causes bigger than herself for a lifetime. That matters.” He wrote that while he disagrees with the former secretary of state on a multitude of matters, he “trusts” that she can lead the country.
“All Republicans may not like the direction,” Hanna wrote, “but they can live to win or lose another day with a real candidate.”