Original article published on Business Insider by David Choi available here
Three Republicans aiming to prevent President Donald Trump’s second term in the White House wrote a scathing opinion column condemning their party for canceling its primaries and caucuses in four states.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois, and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld penned the column, which was published in The Washington Post on Friday evening. In it, the three Republican presidential-hopefuls writes that “in the United States, citizens choose their leaders.”
“The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party,” the column said. “Let those voices be heard.”
The authors took shot at the state GOP parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas, all plan to cancel the 2020 election’s primaries and caucuses. The move would cement Trump’s nomination in the states and prevent any Republican from challenging him before the general election.
State Republicans officials have claimed that there are “no legitimate primary” challengers to Trump, and that taxpayers would be footing millions of dollars to pay for “an unnecessary primary.”
The move is not entirely unprecedented. In 2012, Democratic primaries in 10 states, including Arizona, were not held prior to President Barack Obama’s second term; and eight were canceled during President Bill Clinton’s in 1996.
But Sanford, Walsh, and Weld decried the move as un-American and the “latest disgrace, courtesy of Team Trump.”
“What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing,” they wrote. “Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership. Each of us believes we can best lead the party. So does the incumbent. Let us each take our case to the public.”
“Cowards run from fights,” they wrote in the column. “Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition.”