An Iowa lawmaker on Tuesday became the first elected Republican to leave the party in protest of its presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
“I haven’t supported Mr. Trump at any point along the way but what I am calling his racist remarks and judicial jihad is the last straw,” state senator David Johnson told The Guardian.
Johnson, who said he would change his registration to No Party, compared Trump’s rise to the top of the GOP ticket to the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.
Trump won “by reducing his campaign to reality TV and large crowds and divisive language and all the trappings of a good show for those who like that kind of approach and that’s what happened in the 1930s in Germany,” he told The Guardian.
“I think that’s all I need to say but certainly the fascists took control of Germany under the same types of strategies,” he added.
Johnson, who noted that his own father was part of the first U.S. unit to help liberate a Nazi prison camp, said that Trump’s attacks on the “Mexican” heritage of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel flew in the face of everything he’d been taught as a child.
“If we’re going to exclude Muslims from traveling to the United States, who’s next? Are we going to come down on Jews? … He’s not fit to be president,” Johnson told the publication.
Many prominent Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), have condemned Trump’s remarks but still plan to support him as their party’s nominee.
As for Johnson, he told The Guardian that he still hopes the GOP will “dump Trump” in Cleveland and elect a new candidate who holds “Republican principles.”