Republicans Cross Party Lines To Back Joe Biden At Democratic Convention

A handful of high-profile Republicans, including former Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey, made virtual appearances at the Democratic National Convention on Monday. 

Actor Eva Longoria, who hosted Monday night’s event, introduced a slate of Republicans who were supporting Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, as “unexpected voices.” 

First, Whitman — who served as New Jersey’s governor from 1994 to 2001 and later as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President George W. Bush — described herself as a “lifelong Republican.” 

“But this isn’t about Republican or Democrat. It’s about a person… who could work with everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to get things done,” said the vocal critic of President Donald Trump. “Donald Trump isn’t that person. Joe Biden is.”

Next, Meg Whitman (no relation), a prominent business executive and current CEO of Quibi, took a dig at the president: “Let me tell you, Donald Trump has no clue how to run a business, let alone an economy,” said the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and eBay. 

Both Whitmans supported Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016. 

Former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.), a GOP lobbyist, said she’s known Trump for most of her career, calling him “so disappointing and lately so disturbing.” 

Finally, Kasich, whose video appearance was longer than most others’ on Monday night, said that “the stakes in this election are greater than any in modern times.”

“I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” the former governor said, adding that “these are not normal times.”

Kasich then made the case that he’s known Biden for three decades, and, despite there being issues on which “Joe and I absolutely disagree,” he didn’t believe the moderate Democrat would “turn sharp left” and “leave behind” potential Republican supporters. 

These are “times that call for all of us to take off our partisan hats and put our nation first,” Kasich said.  

Some Democrats were disappointed that the DNC featured Kasich so prominently, given his record on restricting abortion rights.    

“It’s great that Kasich has woken up [and] realized the importance of supporting a Biden-Harris ticket. I hope he gets through to GOP voters,” progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted Monday night. She linked to a BuzzFeed article in which Kasich said that just “because AOC gets outsized publicity doesn’t mean she represents the Democratic Party.” 

“Yet also, something tells me a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party,” Ocasio-Cortez added.  

Kasich’s remarks Monday night were almost four minutes long. Ocasio-Cortez, a rising star in the Democratic Party who is slated to speak at the convention on Tuesday, has been given just 60 seconds for her address.

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