‘Only the weak fear competition’: GOP rivals unite to rip Trump in scathing Washington Post op-ed
Composite image of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (screengrabs)

The former Republican Party elected officials challenging President Donald Trump's for the party's 2020 presidential nomination blasted the GOP in a scathing op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post.

The column was jointly written by former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

"A president always defines his or her party, and today the Republican Party has taken a wrong turn, led by a serial self-promoter who has abandoned the bedrock principles of the GOP. In the Trump era, personal responsibility, fiscal sanity and rule of law have been overtaken by a preference for alienating our allies while embracing terrorists and dictators, attacking the free press and pitting everyday Americans against one another," they wrote.

The three blasted the GOP for canceling primaries in four key states.

"Republicans have long held primaries and caucuses to bring out the best our party has to offer. Our political system assumes an incumbent president will make his case in front of voters to prove that he or she deserves to be nominated for a second term. But now, the Republican parties of four states — Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina — have canceled their nominating contests," they explained. "By this design, the incumbent will be crowned winner of these states’ primary delegates."

"What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing," they charged.

"Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership. Each of us believes we can best lead the party. So does the incumbent. Let us each take our case to the public. The saying 'may the best man win' is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people. Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition," they wrote.

"Do Republicans really want to be the party with a nominating process that more resembles Russia or China than our American tradition?" they asked. "In the United States, citizens choose their leaders. The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party. Let those voices be heard."

Read the full column.