Co-author of GOP's 2012 autopsy, former longtime Jeb Bush aide, quits Republican Party over Trump

"I can't look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump," Sally Bradshaw said Monday

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published August 1, 2016 5:54PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Rebecca Cook/AP/John Locher/Photo montage by Salon)
(Reuters/Rebecca Cook/AP/John Locher/Photo montage by Salon)

The co-author of the Republican Party's post-2012 autopsy and Former Jeb Bush campaign adviser Sally Bradshaw announced her exodus from the Republican Party on Monday, citing Donald Trump's campaign of bigotry.

"This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president," Bradshaw explained to CNN in an e-mail. The lifelong Republican switched her registration to independent in the state of Florida, a matter of public record which CNN first reported Monday. Bradshaw confirmed to CNN that the switch was caused by Trump's campaign.

Bradshaw, who began her political career working for George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign, said she sees the GOP as "at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist -- a misogynist -- a bigot."

"This election cycle is a test," Bradshaw said. "As much as I don't want another four years of (President Barack) Obama's policies, I can't look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump. I can't tell them to love their neighbor and treat others the way they wanted to be treated, and then vote for Donald Trump. I won't do it."

She also said that Trump’s criticism of Khazir and Ghazala Khan, whose son died in Iraq, was “despicable” and made her “sick to my stomach.” Bradshaw told CNN that Trump's attack on the Gold Star parents “reinforced” her decision to became an independent:

Every family who loses a loved one in service to our country or who has a family member who serves in the military should be honored, regardless of their political views. Vets and their family have more than earned the right to those views. Someone with the temperament to be president would understand and respect that.

Bradshaw joins others in the Bush family, including her former boss, Jeb, in not voting for the Republican Party's nominee -- taking it a step further and leaving the Party that nominated him.

"If and when the party regains its sanity, I'll be ready to return," she told CNN. "But until Republicans send a message to party leadership that this cannot stand, nothing will ever change."


By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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2012 Gop Autopsy Donald Trump Elections 2016 Gop Civil War Republican Party Sally Bradshaw