Tom Ridge, the former Department of Homeland Security secretary during the George W. Bush administration, endorsed Joe Biden in an op-ed published Sunday in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ridge’s backing of the former vice president is the latest among a broad list of prominent Republican endorsements for Biden. Ridge, a former GOP governor of Pennsylvania, wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer he considers it “a point of personal pride” to be counted among the first Republicans to reject President Donald Trump, referencing a 2015 NBC News interview where he called Trump an “embarrassment to the party” and country.
“I will cast my vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 3. It will be my first vote for a Democratic candidate for president of the United States,” Ridge wrote in the op-ed. “But it is not the first time I have said ‘no’ to Donald Trump. I urge my fellow Pennsylvanians to join me.”
Ridge also gave a scathing critique of Trump’s time in office, including his attempts to cast doubt on the election process. He also said the Trump “lacks the empathy, integrity, intellect and maturity to lead” and that he “sows division along political, racial and religious lines.”
“With just about one month until Election Day, President Trump continues to claim the only way he can possibly be defeated is a rigged election. Can you imagine the hubris? Can you imagine any other president in our lifetime — or ever — saying something so dangerous and un-American?,” Ridge wrote. “We are in the midst of a health crisis, when we should be doing all we can to help citizens vote safely, yet he continues to cast doubt on the sanctity of the vote. He’s done so multiple times here in Pennsylvania. It’s deplorable, yet utterly consistent with past reprehensible behavior.”
Ridge also added that although he does not agree with many of Biden’s policies, “I do know him to be a decent man who can begin to undo the damage President Trump has caused.”
In July, former George W. Bush administration and campaign officials launched a super PAC, 43 Alumni For Biden, throwing their support behind the Democratic nominee. Republican figures and supporters, including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, spoke during the Democratic National Conventions last month making the case that the vice president can reunite a politically divided country.