Elections

High-profile Texans still can’t support Donald Trump for president

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump AP

Never. Ever.

That’s how some Texans still feel about Donald Trump running for the White House.

Even though he has claimed the Republican Party’s nomination, some Texans say #NeverTrump likely is the way they’ll always feel about the New York businessman’s presidential bid.

“The Republican Party is a very divided party,” said Tom Marshall, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. “It was a very crowded, fragmented field and he rolled over everyone, one by one, until he was the nominee.”

Among those that Trump “rolled over”: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

And that likely is part of the reason why Trump won’t get the support of former President George W. Bush, former President George H.W. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush — who all live in Texas — and other Bush family members.

But for some, it’s much more than that.

Juan Hernandez said the former reality TV star insulted so many people: the handicapped, women, Muslims and judges, just to name a few.

“He acts as if he would have the power, for example, to break the treaties that we have with other nations,” said Hernandez, a devout Fort Worth Republican who has advised presidential candidates including 2008 nominee John McCain. “His solutions are very violent … and include literally bombing other countries if the thinks they are close to ISIS.

This is the time for Americans to stand up to someone who is a threat to everything we are as a nation.

Juan Hernandez, a devout Fort Worth Republican who has advised presidential candidates including 2008 nominee John McCain

“This is the time for Americans to stand up to someone who is a threat to everything we are as a nation.”

‘Never. Never. Never.’

At a time where Texas delegates in Cleveland are being urged to unite behind Trump, Hernandez, who isn’t attending the convention, says he can’t vote for Trump.

Or for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He said there must be another option in November’s election.

“I don’t know who it will be,” he said, adding that he had hoped a “civil war” would break out at the GOP national convention and delegates would choose a different presidential candidate. “Maybe it’s the Libertarian Gary Johnson.”

He’s not 100 percent certain he will vote in the presidential race at all.

“I cherish my vote so much. And I cherish my integrity so much,” he said. “I cannot vote for Trump even though I’m a Republican.

“Never. Never. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever Trump,” he said. “Period.”

Bush resistance

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn told Texas’ GOP delegates in Cleveland that he realizes many of them didn’t want Trump as their nominee.

We have to do anything we can and make Donald Trump the next president of the United States.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas

“I know many of you are experiencing disappointment about some of the outcomes for your candidates,” Cornyn said this week. “But we have to do anything we can and make Donald Trump the next president of the United States.”

That’s a message the Bush family didn’t receive; they steered clear of this year’s GOP national convention.

Bush 41, who has endorsed the GOP presidential nominee for the past five presidential elections and helped with Jeb’s campaign earlier this year, is staying silent.

“At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics,” an aide has told the media.

And Bush 43, who also helped campaign for Jeb, has said that “the strongest person usually isn’t the loudest one in the room.”

He also plans to stay out of the rest of this presidential campaign and has publicly worried that he “will be the last Republican president,” media reports show.

Jeb Bush himself, who Trump mocked as having “low energy,” doesn’t plan to vote for either Trump or Clinton.

Meanwhile, his son — George P. Bush, who heads the 2016 Texas GOP Victory Fund — plans to focus on down ballot races.

“I, along with others, are not in a position to endorse at this time because of concerns about his rhetoric and his inability to create a campaign that brings people together,” George P. Bush told the Austin-American Statesman.

Other Texans

The Bushes aren’t the only ones speaking out against Trump, or sending messages with their silence.

State Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, is a staunch Ted Cruz supporter who had hoped to go to the national convention to support him — until he dropped out of the presidential race.

Then she decided to stay home.

She hasn’t publicly come on board to the Trump campaign and has taken him to task on social media.

“You know why DT will fail at uniting? Because he & his ppl are in it for themselves, not to heal our country,” she posted on Twitter on July 18, the first day of the national convention.

Star-Telegram Washington Bureau reporter Stephanie Golden contributed to this report.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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