Around 60 to 70 officials who served under ex-president George Bush have decided to leave the party, and the number "is growing every day."
With the curtains having fallen on the Trump administration, several members of the Republican party hoped that elected Republicans would dissociate themselves from Donald Trump and stop echoing his baseless claims of voter fraud. But seeing Republican lawmakers still consorting with Trump even after he has left the White House has prompted many party members to quit.
After Trump was accused of inciting violence which led to the attack on the US Capitol, officials expected elected Republicans to no longer support the idea of the November elections being stolen from Trump, who is the only president to face impeachment twice in American history. However, staunch crusaders of Trump failed to denounce his claims, after which dozens of Republicans in former President George W. Bush’s administration have decided to leave the grand old party (GOP).
Some claim that the party is no longer the Republican party that it was known to be, but has turned into a fan club of loyal Trump supporters.
"The Republican Party as I knew it no longer exists. I’d call it the cult of Trump," said Jimmy Gurulé, who was Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the Bush administration, according to Reuters.
The departure of these former Bush officials, who have served as Republicans for decades, is a sign of how Trump's advocacies have caused rifts within the party itself.
Around 60 to 70 former Bush officials have decided to quit or cut ties with the Republican party, according to Kristopher Purcell, who worked in the White House's communications office during the Bush administration. Purcell added that the number of former Bush officials quitting "is growing every day."
Rosario Marin, a former Treasurer of the U.S. during President Bush's tenure, said, "If it continues to be the party of Trump, many of us are not going back. Unless the Senate convicts him, and rids themselves of the Trump cancer, many of us will not be going back to vote for Republican leaders."
While many former Bush officials have chosen to quit after seeing party leaders refusing to disown Trump, others believe that it is necessary for them to stay put and continue working with the party in order to wipe away the hold Trump has on the Republican party.
"I totally understand why people are frustrated and want to leave the party. I’ve had that feeling for 4 years," said Suzy DeFrancis, who has worked in the administrations of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. A veteran of the Republican Party, DeFrancis revealed that she voted for Biden in the November elections, but believes the Republican party needs to stick together for its own good.
When Purcell spoke to Reuters, he mentioned names such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is a newcomer in politics but has already managed to stir things up in a short while. Greene has previously advocated the QAnon conspiracy theory, claiming Trump is the chosen one who will fight against pedophiles in the Democratic party.
Lauren Boebert, another elected Representative from Colorado, has also backed controversial QAnon sentiments.
"We have QAnon members of Congress," Purcell said. "It’s appalling."