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WASHINGTON -- Describing their party's presidential nominee as unqualified, dangerous and disgraceful, 30 former Republican lawmakers said Thursday that they oppose Donald Trump and won't vote for him in November.

The list includes former House members from every corner of the country, plus former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire.

Former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., who hasn't endorsed Trump, wasn't one of the signatories; no Arkansans added their names.

Thursday's statement doesn't address Trump's policy positions, focusing instead on his fitness to serve.

[INTERACTIVE: The 2016 election in Arkansas]

"Given the enormous power of the office, every candidate for president must be judged rigorously in assessing whether he or she has the competence, intelligence, knowledge, understanding, empathy, judgment, and temperament necessary to keep America on a safe and steady course. Donald Trump fails on each of those measures, and he has proven himself manifestly unqualified to be president," it said.

The former elected officials made no mention of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"In nominating Donald Trump, the Republican Party has asked the people of the United States to entrust their future to a man who insults women, mocks the handicapped, urges that dissent be met with violence, seeks to impose religious tests for entry into the United States, and applies a de facto ethnicity test to judges. He offends our allies and praises dictators. His public statements are peppered with lies. He belittles our heroes and insults the parents of men who have died serving our country. Every day brings a fresh revelation that highlights the unacceptable danger in electing him to lead our nation," it continued.

"We urge our fellow Republicans not to vote for this man whose disgraceful candidacy is indefensible," it said. "We may differ on how we will cast our ballots in November but none of us will vote for Donald Trump."

Former U.S. Reps. Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma and Tom Coleman of Missouri said they drafted the letter and shared it with other ex-legislators; others quickly added their names.

At 57, Geoff Davis of Kentucky was the youngest signer. The oldest, G. William Whitehurst of Virginia, is 91. Most were in their 70s or 80s and have long ties to the GOP.

Some on the list had already stated their opposition to Trump. Other prominent Republicans, including several former Cabinet members, have also denounced him.

In an interview, Edwards, 79, said Trump poses a threat to the nation.

"This is a guy who gets easily irritated and lashes out, and this is a guy who would have access to nuclear weapons and control of the military," the former eight-term congressman said.

When it comes to picking a president, patriotism is more important than party loyalty, he said.

"I like the Republican Party. I agree with the Republican Party on most things, but I love my country more," he said. "The idea you have to support somebody who's as bad as he is just because he belongs to your club, I think, is nonsense."

In an interview, Coleman said he believes Trump is "dangerous."

"This guy is a troubled individual who is running a troubling campaign and I don't think he's emotionally or mentally fit to be president," he said.

Most Arkansas Republicans who once served in Congress argue that it's Clinton, not Trump, who would undermine the nation.

They're backing their party's nominee and his running mate, former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Earlier this week, Trump announced that Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman, would serve as chairman of the Trump-Pence Arkansas Leadership Team. He is joined by all six current members of the Arkansas congressional delegation, plus Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who served in the U.S. House from 2011-2015. All are Republicans.

Hutchinson "believes the Trump-Pence ticket is the right choice for America right now," said Jon Gilmore, his political strategist.

Hutchinson's brother, former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, hasn't signed on to the Trump team.

"I'm not going to vote for Hillary Clinton," Tim Hutchinson said Thursday. "Beyond that, I'm uncommitted and undecided."

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Bethune didn't respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Former U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey said he'll support his party's nominee.

"I come down on the issue of abortion and I just can't get around it," he said. "[Trump] has at least said he'll be for life, for protecting the lives of the unborn. And that alone is the issue that determines where my vote is going to go."

In an interview, former U.S. Rep. Tommy Robinson said he supports Trump.

"She ought to be crucified and put up in jail," he said of Hillary Clinton.

The Clinton campaign declined to comment.

Appointed by Gov. Bill Clinton as the state director of the now defunct Department of Public Safety, he was summoned, he said, to the Governor's Mansion to intervene in arguments between Bill and Hillary Clinton.

A Section on 10/07/2016

Print Headline: 30 ex-GOP legislators: No Trump

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  • EREDDING
    October 7, 2016 at 6:05 a.m.

    Must be the ones on the take. Afraid they will lose out on the way they line their pockets. How do they all get rich on a couple of years on just the salary they make??? If they are not a crook when they get elected they become one in two years. The system has to change.

  • TimberTopper
    October 7, 2016 at 7:02 a.m.

    It appears many good Americans value the country over party. Then there's that other group that value party over country. They'll belong in that not so good American group.

  • BirdDogsRock
    October 7, 2016 at 7:30 a.m.

    It is refreshing and encouraging to hear politicians talking openly and earnestly about country over party. That attitude should be more prominent, among all 330 million of us Americans.

  • JakeTidmore
    October 7, 2016 at 8:18 a.m.

    According to fivethirtyeight election forecast, Clinton's odds are 79% to Trump's 21% to win the presidential election. It's gone from a 10% difference on 26 Sep to almost a 60% difference this morning.
    Looking into the Republican crystal ball, there is Herr Trump, his mind wandering about the planes of infinity on a reserve tank of being and his purpose waning beneath the gauges; we find the hero of fantasy cruising ("to cruise" - searching through the warped dementia for an element known only as "cheese") picking up the shuffled remnants of his mind. From thus does he make projectile pronouncements.

  • ARMNAR
    October 7, 2016 at 10:07 a.m.

    Republicans with integrity?

    That's refreshing!

  • Packman
    October 7, 2016 at 10:46 a.m.

    Like the rest of the political elite, these narcissistic nitwits just don't get it. The populist movement that supports a Donald Trump was created due to utter disgust with the establishment and career politicians. When self-absorbed career pols say nasty things about Donald Trump, it simply emboldens and validates his supporters. To this populist movement, it isn't about Republican or Democrat but defeating the political ruling class. Timber, BirdDogs, Jake......Do you really NOT understand?
    .
    Hey armnar - Where's the link? Show me the link? What about the link? Link. Link. Link. Your words are meaningless without a link. Or so you say. Moron.

  • ARMNAR
    October 7, 2016 at 11:51 a.m.

    It's hilarious how you can't own up to your lie about that non-existent "sex tape."

    And your rhetorical arsenal is pretty much limited to "I know you are, but what am I?"

    Pathetic.

  • JakeTidmore
    October 7, 2016 at 11:52 a.m.

    You left off Sanders, pack.

    BTW - Who has controlled Congress these past few years? Who is known as the party of "NO"? Who has held up legislation, delayed appointments, made grandstanding SOP, and held the economy hostage?

    Guess packoflies is also a narcissistic nitwit who doesn't get it.
    **
    I do agree with you about Trump and his supporters. Let’s try to leave aside our biases about Trump, because in fact his supporters are right, and we do tend to show some unconscious bias against candidates who exploit racial animosities, display close to zero knowledge of the world and routinely say things that are patently not true. This is something we need to work on.
    Trump's supporters need to work on something simpler: selling out to a man who egregiously lies, badly lies, and frequently lies. Swing voters recognize this flaw.
    Trump is our flawed and disordered candidate.
    **
    Editorial:
    A PERSPECTIVE OF THE CIVILIAN WORLD: Since leaving the military rowdies and trying to assume a place in society amongst my fellow poor folks, it has dawned upon me that fat people are much more popular and greater in number in the civilian populace than with the hip OD crowd.
    From pleasantly plump to corpulent to roley-poley, I've never seen such a parade of spare tires, beer bellies, saggy cellulose and meat lockers in my entire life. I foresee a second line of defense in the future in which we line up all our chubbies and roll down upon the enemy in one crushing blow.
    In these times of inflation it's pleasing to note that the body politic is just as ballooning as its citizens.

  • ARMNAR
    October 7, 2016 at 11:55 a.m.

    24/7/365, Queenie.

  • GrimReaper
    October 7, 2016 at 12:40 p.m.

    Discerning voters don't give a rat's a$$ about what these parasitic establishment politicians say.

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