WASHINGTON – Conservative columnist George Will told PJM he has officially left the Republican Party and urged conservatives not to support presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump even if it leads to a Democratic victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Will, who writes for the Washington Post, acknowledged it is a “little too late” for the Republican Party to find a replacement for Trump but had a message for Republican voters.
“Make sure he loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House,” Will said during an interview after his speech at a Federalist Society luncheon.
Will said he changed his voter registration this month from Republican to “unaffiliated” in the state of Maryland.
“This is not my party,” Will said during his speech at the event.
He mentioned House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) endorsement of Trump as one of the factors that led him to leave the party.
Will, a Fox News contributor, said a “President Trump” with “no opposition” from a Republican-led Congress would be worse than a Hillary Clinton presidency with a Republican-led Congress.
Will did not say if he would vote for the Libertarian Party nominee, former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-N.M.), telling the crowd he does not know whether or not the Libertarian ticket is going to help or hurt Clinton.
Assuming Republicans retained the majority in both the House and Senate in 2016, Will said “gridlock” in government is a good thing “nine times out of 10.”
“Gridlock is not an American problem. It’s an American achievement,” he said, explaining that there are some countries that “wish” their governments were gridlocked.
Will added that gridlock often “stops things” the federal government should not be doing.
PJM asked Will about concerns among Republicans that a Hillary Clinton victory guarantees another liberal justice on the Supreme Court. In response, Will said a Republican president is not “the answer” to a conservative-leaning Supreme Court.
“Sure, but I’m also concerned with the fact that I do not really believe Republicans think clearly enough about what they really want in judges. Republicans have given us Earl Warren, Brennan, John Paul Stevens, Burger, who was kind of mediocre, Blackmun. Having a Republican president is not an answer in itself,” he said.