Ex-GOP Rep. Kinzinger Endorses Biden, Citing Trump’s Threat to Democracy

by Stacy M. Brown – Former Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger has announced his endorsement of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris just ahead of the first presidential debate in Atlanta.

Kinzinger, a self-described Republican moderate, served as an Illinois congressman from 2011 until last year. He gained prominence for his opposition to his party’s direction, particularly after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

“This is what putting your country before your party looks like,” Biden said.

Kinzinger was one of only two Republicans, alongside former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, to serve on the House Select Committee to Investigate the Capitol insurrection. He was also among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2021, subsequently deciding not to seek reelection.

In his recent book, “Renegade,” Kinzinger reflects on his political career, the challenges of working within a fractured political system, and his growing disillusionment with the Republican Party after Trump’s presidency and impeachment trials.

Kinzinger, a vocal critic of Trump, cited the “existential threat” Trump poses to American democracy as a critical reason for his endorsement. He referenced Trump’s role in the insurrection and praised Biden’s steadfast commitment to protecting and strengthening democracy.

“I’m a proud conservative. I always have been. As a proud conservative, I’ve always put democracy and our Constitution above all else,” Kinzinger asserted. “And it’s because of my unwavering support for democracy, that today, as a proud conservative, I am endorsing Joe Biden for reelection.”

The former House member’s endorsement sets the stage for a stark contrast at Thursday’s debate.

Trump’s election denialism and support for political violence will be starkly juxtaposed against Biden’s unwavering advocacy for democracy and law and order, a contrast that will be hard to miss.

Conversely, Biden has fostered a sense of unity in his coalition, welcoming Republicans like Kinzinger. His campaign has invested millions in outreach efforts targeting Nikki Haley’s primary voters and organizing Republican outreach with dedicated staff, demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity.

The former congressman said his life has been guided by the conviction that America is a beacon of freedom, liberty, and democracy.

“While I certainly don’t agree with President Biden on everything – and I never thought I’d be endorsing a Democrat for president – I know that he will always protect the very thing that makes America the best country in the world: our democracy,” Kinzinger insisted. “Donald Trump poses a direct threat to every fundamental American value. He doesn’t care about our country. He doesn’t care about you.  He only cares about himself, and he will hurt anyone or anything in pursuit of power. We saw that when he tried to overturn an election, he knew he lost in 2020.”

Kinzinger said Trump “attacked the foundation of this nation, encouraging a violent mob of his supporters to march on the Capitol to prevent the peaceful transition of power,” and warned that the former president “has become even more dangerous.”

“He’s called for the ‘termination’ of the Constitution,” Kinzinger said about Trump. “He wants to be a dictator on day one, he actually said that. And he’s continuing to stoke the flames of political violence. There is too much at stake to sit on the sidelines.”

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden-Harris 2024 campaign manager, released a statement regarding Kinzinger’s endorsement:

“Our campaign is proud to earn the support of Congressman Kinzinger, a true public servant who is a model for putting our country and our democracy over party and blind concession to Trump. Congressman Kinzinger represents the countless Americans that Donald Trump’s Republican Party has left behind. Those Americans have a home in President Biden’s coalition, and our campaign knows we need to show up and earn their support.”

She emphasized that Biden “will always fight for American democracy, the rule of law, treating each other with decency, dignity, and respect, and working to find common ground—even when we disagree,” before explaining the importance of Kinzinger’s endorsement

“Congressman Kinzinger’s endorsement doesn’t just make our campaign stronger; it will better equip us to win the hearts and minds of voters committed to fighting for the future of our democracy and stopping Donald Trump,” Rodriguez said.

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