GOP Renegades Have History of Backing Dems Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge speaks during an event to mark the 15th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, March 1, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
As Republican U.S. Representatives were poised to replace Liz Cheney as chairman of the House GOP Conference, both politicians and pundits were waking up to the news Wednesday morning that 100 former Republican officials were poised to leave the party.
Making little secret that their animosity was aimed at Donald Trump, the "Gang of 100" plan to release a statement Thursday announcing their break with the GOP.
"When in our democratic republic, forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise, it is the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice," reads the preamble to the full statement, according to The New York Times.
Rarely mentioned is that a good number of these former Republican officials have supported Democrats for a while.
Both former Bush Cabinet Members Tom Ridge and Mary Peters, for example, were high-profile "Republicans for Biden" in 2020. Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security and governor of Pennsylvania, made it clear in 2016 he wasn’t going to vote for the Trump-Pence ticket.
Former Rep. Mickey Edwards, R.-Okla., a past chairman of the American Conservative Union, has long made known his distaste for the Trump movement within the GOP. Earlier this year, he announced he was no longer a Republican because the party, in his eyes, "has become a cult."
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden last year.
The same is true of former Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who has long made it clear he twice voted against Trump.
Two other former GOP House Members, Reid Ribble (Wisc.) and Barbara Comstock (Va.), have long been publicly critical of Trump and their party’s embrace of the former president.
The expected break from the Republican Party by the "Gang of 100," historian and Ethics and Public Policy Center Fellow Henry Olsen told Newsmax, "will gain traction, however, only if a significant number of existing legislators, donors, and activists join them. That’s not likely because anyone with ambition knows they currently represent a small, distinct minority."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.