Longtime GOP Strategist Steve Schmidt Has Left the Republican Party

June 20, 2018, 6:18 PM UTC
Senior advisor to U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) Steve Schmidt talks to reporters in New York September 24, 2008, after Senator McCain's announcement that he will suspend his campaign because of the U.S. economic crisis. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA) - GM1E49P0D0P01
Brian Snyder—Reuters

Steve Schmidt, a longtime GOP strategist who has been critical of President Trump, renounced his party membership Wednesday in a string of fiery Tweets. “29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life,” he wrote. “It is fully the party of Trump.”

Schmidt continued to criticize all Republican party members, calling them “feckless cowards,” with the exception of governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland, and John Kasich of Ohio. These three Republican leaders have been outspoken in their disgust with Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families at the border, a subject Schmidt himself has spoken out against.

“This child separation policy is connected to the worst abuses of humanity in our history,” Schmidt wrote on Twitter. “It is connected by the same evil that separated families during slavery and dislocated tribes and broke up Native American families.”

Schmidt called for the “utter repudiation of Trump and his vile enablers in the 2018 election,” encouraging all to elect Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm elections. “I do not say this as an advocate of a progressive agenda,” he wrote. “I say it as someone who retains belief in DEMOCRACY and decency.”

In a storm of Tweets, Schmidt announced he is now an Independent voter aligned with the Democratic party, “the only party left in America that stands for what is right and decent and remains fidelitous to our Republic, objective truth, the rule of law and our Allies.”

Schmidt previously worked as senior adviser to the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and was a top aid under President George W. Bush. Despite his Republican background, Schmidt has become a harsh critic of party candidates in recent months. In November, he called for Alabama citizens to vote Democrat, calling Senate candidate Roy Moore a “pedophile, bigot and all around extremist nut job.”

When President Trump moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, sparking violent protests, Schmidt said Trump “has blood on his hands.” He’s also said the president has exposed the “intellectual rot” of the Republican party.

While Schmidt stated his believe in the two-party political system, he wrote that “today the GOP has become a danger to our democracy and values.”