WASHINGTON — More than two dozen former Republican members of Congress, including former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, endorsed Joe Biden for president Monday, shortly before the Republican National Convention.
Speaking in a live video on several social media platforms, Flake explained that he plans to vote for Biden, not for President Donald Trump, because "given what we have experienced over the past four years, it's not enough just to register our disapproval of the president."
"We need to elect someone else in his place — someone who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage," he said.
Biden's campaign announced the list of endorsements in a news release Monday morning.
"It is because of my conservatism, and because of my belief in the Constitution and the separation of power, and because I am gravely concerned about the conduct and behavior of our current president, that I stand here today, proudly and wholeheartedly, to endorse Joe Biden as the next president of the United States of America," Flake said.
Flake said that there is a "sickness in the our system" and that "we've infected the whole country with it."
"We're all old enough to remember when we elected presidents who spoke to our highest ideals and aspirations of a nation, not to our deepest dystopian fears," he said.
Flake said it was "bad enough" to say in 2016 that the presidential election would be rigged. "Now, as president of the United States, he has said, and I quote, 'The only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.' What kind of president talks like that?" Flake asked. "What kind of American leader undermines confidence in the elections in his own country?
"It is apparent now that the president's behavior has not, and will not, change," he added.
Other Republicans supporting Biden are Flake, former Sens. John Warner of Virginia and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire and former Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Ray LaHood of Illinois, who was transportation secretary in the administration of former President Barack Obama.
"These former members of Congress cited Trump's corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course as a reason why they support Biden," the Biden campaign said in its announcement. "These former members of Congress are supporting Joe Biden because they know what's at stake in this election and that Trump's failures as president have superseded partisanship."
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Flake has spoken out against Trump ever since he served in the Senate, where he said his fellow Republicans should push back against the president.
The announcement came ahead of the GOP convention Monday and on the heels of the Democratic National Convention last week, where several Republicans endorsed Biden and delivered speeches explaining why. They included former 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, who was among those on the list the Biden campaign released Monday.