While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is still backing Donald Trump, one of his former top aides will be voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton, CNN reported.
“Instead of speaking out against instances of bigotry, racism and inflammatory rhetoric whether it’s been against women, immigrants or Muslims, we made a calculus that it was better to say nothing at all in the interest of politics and winning elections,” said Maria Comella, who worked on Christie’s two successful gubernatorial campaigns. “For me, if our party has a future, we have to change that trajectory and lead by example.”
Comella ended her tenure working for Christie after the governor ended his own presidential campaign. She told CNN that the GOP has reached “a moment where silence isn’t an option.”
She specifically cited Trump’s insults against Gold Star military parents Ghazala and Khizr Khan following their appearance at the Democratic National Convention last week.
“Donald Trump has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people’s anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the ‘other,'” Comella argued. “Instead of trying anything remotely like unifying the country, we have a nominee who would rather pick fights because he views it as positive news coverage,” she said. “It may make him media savvy, but it doesn’t make him qualified or ready to be president.”
Other Republicans have since tried to distance themselves from their presidential nominee’s remarks. Christie — who has supported Trump to the point of provoking ridicule — called Trump’s remarks about the Khans “inappropriate” but did not say whether he felt Trump was in the wrong.