Parting ways

Top Republican senator says she’s “unable to support” Trump’s candidacy

Senator Susan Collings (R-ME) speaks to the media outside of the Senate Chamber. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Another Republican has shifted to the “Never Trump” camp. Susan Collins, a Republican who represents Maine in the U.S. Senate, wrote an Op-Ed in The Washington Post Monday night explaining why she cannot support the candidacy of her party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Collins, who’s been a senator since 1997, cited Trump’s record of bullying throughout his campaign as the overarching reason she can’t support and won’t vote for Trump. She also denounced his inability to apologize or admit error, particularly with his recent behavior, which dashed her hopes that he might pivot and become a more traditional candidate after accepting the GOP nomination.

“I had hoped that we would see a ‘new’ Donald Trump as a general-election candidate — one who would focus on jobs and the economy, tone down his rhetoric, develop more thoughtful policies and, yes, apologize for ill-tempered rants,” Collins wrote. “But the unpleasant reality that I have had to accept is that there will be no ‘new’ Donald Trump, just the same candidate who will slash and burn and trample anything and anyone he perceives as being in his way or an easy scapegoat. Regrettably, his essential character appears to be fixed, and he seems incapable of change or growth.”

Collins, who prior to being elected to the Senate became the first woman in Maine to be nominated for governor, is the most senior senator and high-profile lawmaker to denounce Trump’s candidacy, according to The New York Times. Some see her parting ways with Trump as a potential watershed moment that could inspire other members of Congress to do the same. Already, several other prominent Republicans have come out against Trump, including, most notably, Hewlett Packard exec and billionaire Meg Whitman, who also said she would vote for Hillary Clinton. In her Op-Ed for the Post, Collins did not say whom she would vote for in November.

Read the full Op-Ed at The Washington Post.

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