Hundreds of former aides to George W. Bush, John McCain endorse Biden for president

The endorsements, which come as Trump prepares to accept his party's nomination, are the latest in a string of Republican statements supporting Biden.

Joe Biden accepts the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during a speech delivered for the largely virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

WASHINGTON — Several hundred former aides to President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain announced Thursday that they are endorsing Joe Biden for president.

The statements of support for the Democratic nominee come as President Donald Trump prepares to accept his party's nomination on the final night of the Republican National Convention.

A political action committee, 43 Alumni for Biden, that launched last month posted a list of nearly 300 members of the Bush administration or campaigns who are publicly backing Biden. The names range from members of the Cabinet, including former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, to ambassadors, to White House and advance staffers.

Meanwhile, more than 100 former staff of McCain's congressional offices and campaigns also endorsed Biden for president.

“Given the incumbent president’s lack of competent leadership, his efforts to aggravate rather than bridge divisions among Americans, and his failure to uphold American values, we believe the election of former Vice President Biden is clearly in the national interest,” they said in a letter.

Some of McCain’s former aides who signed the letter include Mark Salter, the senator's onetime chief of staff; Christian Ferry, who was deputy manager for McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; Joe Donoghue, who was McCain's legislative director; and Mike Murphy, a GOP political consultant who was a strategist on McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign.

As president, Biden would lead a comprehensive effort to contain the coronavirus in the United States, the McCain alumni said. Trump and McCain, R-Ariz., frequently clashed, including over efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday's endorsements are the latest in a string of Republican statements supporting Biden and come two days after the two-year anniversary of McCain’s death from brain cancer.

Earlier this week, more than two dozen former Republican Congress members backed Biden for president. Meanwhile, at the Democratic National Convention last week, several other Republicans endorsed the former vice president. They included former former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former eBay and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman and former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York.