A Republican National Convention speechwriter says he may be voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the November presidential election.
In an opinion article for The Baltimore Sun, “GOP to the core” Richard J. Cross III, who personally wrote the speech for Benghazi mom Patricia Smith at the 2016 Republican National Convention, details why he will have to break from his political party.
“Weeks after the end of the 2016 GOP convention, I am confronted by an inconvenient fact: Despite what I wrote in that nationally televised speech about Hillary Clinton, I may yet have to vote for her because of the epic deficiencies of my own party's nominee,” he wrote.
In the speech Cross prepared for Smith, the mother of one of the four Americans who were killed in September 2012 at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the words he wrote directly attacked Clinton’s involvement in the incident because she was serving as secretary of state at the time.
“I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son,” Cross’ speech, as recited by Smith, said, according to The New Yorker. As it continued, Clinton was accused of lying to Smith and other families about what happened that night.
“The entire campaign comes down to a single question: If Hillary Clinton can’t give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?” the speech concluded.
Cross may have written those words, but how he feels about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has caused him to doubt his party’s future and his support for it.
“President [Dwight] Eisenhower would have never proposed banning Muslims from America,” he wrote in the op-ed. “Nor would President [Richard] Nixon. Nor would President [Ronald] Reagan. Donald Trump has betrayed and perverted their legacies. Consequently, I no longer recognize my party.
"I have never voted for a Democrat for federal office, but when I hear the president criticize the GOP nominee, I can't honestly disagree with him.”
Cross says he has no political home at this time and that makes him uncomfortable.
“While I'm proud of my service to the Republican party, I am not proud of the present state of American politics,” he wrote. “I look around me; everything just feels awful and sad. The divisions in our national discourse are great, and there is no political hero waiting to rescue us from ourselves.”
Cross said he will not be voting for Trump.
“I could never vote for Donald Trump,” he wrote.
His decision now is whether to vote for Clinton, whom he refers to as “the most divisive political figure in the past 25 years,” or throw his vote away on a “kooky Libertarian ticket.”
Cross finds the 2016 election to be one where people must stand up and be counted, as supporters of the civil rights movement did.
“The central question in 2016: Are Muslim Americans an equal and welcome member of the American constituency?" he wrote.
Cross believes they are, and that Americans can find a positive solution to illegal immigration. To choose otherwise and stand with Trump, he says, is to choose fear.
“Fear sometimes wins you elections, but it doesn't create jobs, build schools, reduce crime or improve the quality of life for all citizens," he wrote. "Great political leaders help us transcend our fears.”
Cross does not like the idea of voting for Clinton, but he finds the other option more terrifying.
“The reality of American politics today is, she is the only choice,” he wrote.