A longtime aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told CNN on Tuesday that she plans to vote for Hillary Clinton, telling the network that for Republicans coping with Donald Trump “silence isn’t an option.”
Maria Comella, who helped shape Christie’s image into a national brand and was the longest serving member of his senior staff, said she couldn’t back her former boss’ pick for President, calling Trump “unable to show humility and empathy” in his attacks on the Khan family.
“Donald Trump has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people’s anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the ‘other,'” Comella said in an email to CNN.
Comella cut official ties with the governor after his failed presidential bid. She had worked in his administration since 2009. Christie became a prominent and enthusiastic endorser of Trump shortly after suspending his own primary campaign and was on Trump’s vice presidential short list.
Comella’s defection from the nominee comes the day after Sally Bradshaw, a longtime adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said she de-registered as a Republican over Trump’s nomination and said she would vote for Clinton if the race is close in Florida.