Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said on Monday night that she will not vote for Donald Trump, calling him “reckless” and blasting his “constant stream of cruel comments.”
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Collins wrote that while Trump has connected with many Republican voters, “rejecting the conventions of political correctness is different from showing complete disregard for common decency.”
“Mr. Trump did not stop with shedding the stilted campaign dialogue that often frustrates voters. Instead, he opted for a constant stream of denigrating comments, including demeaning Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) heroic military service and repeatedly insulting Fox News host Megyn Kelly,” she wrote.
The senator said that she became “increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize,” particularly Trump’s comments about those who “do not share his power or stature.” Collins said this makes the Republican nominee “unworthy of being our president.”
She listed Trump’s attacks on a reporter with disabilities, the judge in the Trump University case, and the parents of a deceased Muslim American soldier as instances that confirmed her unwillingness to cast a vote for the Republican nominee.
“I am also deeply concerned that Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so,” she added in the op-ed. “It is reckless for a presidential candidate to publicly raise doubts about honoring treaty commitments with our allies. Mr. Trump’s tendency to lash out when challenged further escalates the possibility of disputes spinning dangerously out of control.”
Collins wrote that she had been hoping Trump would change and become more focused.
“But the unpleasant reality that I have had to accept is that there will be no ‘new’ Donald Trump, just the same candidate who will slash and burn and trample anything and anyone he perceives as being in his way or an easy scapegoat,” she wrote. “Regrettably, his essential character appears to be fixed, and he seems incapable of change or growth.”