WASHINGTON — Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., became the latest Republican to disavow GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying Wednesday he will not vote for him. But he did not go so far as to back Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t see how I can support Trump,” Kinzinger said on CNN.
Kinzinger has been wrestling with what to do about Trump for months. In June, he said if he had to vote he would likely write in the name of a Republican.
At the GOP presidential convention in Cleveland last month, Kinzinger still kept open the possibility of backing Trump. He said in Cleveland, “I’ll probably ultimately end up supporting him but, it’s not really enthusiastic.”
The final straw, Kinzinger told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, was Trump starting this “unbelievable spat with the family of a fallen soldier, a fallen soldier who swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” a reference to Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who killed in a car bomb explosion in Iraq on June 8, 2004.
At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, Khizr Khan, with his wife, Ghazala, standing silently by his side, lit into Trump, “speaking as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?” said Khan, whose son is buried there. “Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
Kinzinger slammed Trump for not saying he honored the Khan family and instead took it as “an affront to him.” Also contributing to his ruling out a vote for Trump, Kinzinger said, was Trump’s blaming former President George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks.
In a Friday ABC interview, Trump lit into Ghazala Khan for her silence, suggesting it had to do with her Muslim faith. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, she said she did not speak because “I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun” and she feared she would lose control of herself on the convention stage, which featured a big photo of him. Did Trump, a father, she wrote, “really need to wonder why I did not speak?”
Kinzinger, a major in the Air National Guard, said Trump “for me is beginning to cross a lot of red lines into the unbelievable in politics. I am not going to support Hillary, but in America, we have the right to write somebody in or skip the vote, and vote for Mark Kirk in Illinois for instance, and that is what it is looking like for me today.”
“I just don’t see how I get to Donald Trump anymore.”