While the endorsements offer a symbolic boost to Biden as he seeks to win over persuadable voters, Trump is still overwhelmingly popular among Republicans, a point made by Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh, who dismissed the significance of the endorsements.
“Joe Biden has been a failure in the Washington Swamp for a half century, so no one should be surprised when Swamp creatures gather to protect one of their own,” Murtaugh said. “President Trump has unprecedented support — over 95 percent — among real Republican voters and is also making strong inroads in Biden’s core Democrat constituencies, like Black Americans, Latinos, and union members. President Trump’s record of success for all Americans will carry him to victory in November.”
Along with Flake and Dent, former Sens. Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire and John Warner of Virginia added their support, as did the following former members of Congress:
- Texas Rep. Steve Bartlett
- Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Clinger
- Missouri Rep. Tom Coleman
- Oklahoma Rep. Mickey Edwards
- Maryland Rep. Wayne Gilchrest
- Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Greenwood
- South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis
- California Rep. Steve Kuykendall
- Iowa Rep. Jim Leach
- New York Rep. Susan Molinari
- Maryland Rep. Connie Morella
- Mississippi Rep. Mike Parker
- Rhode Island Rep. Claudine Schneider
- Connecticut Rep. Christopher Shays
- Virginia Rep. Bill Whitehurst
- New Jersey Rep. Dick Zimmer
“There are a lot of former Republican members of Congress who are unhappy with the direction of the party,” he said when asked what was behind the coalition. “We understand that political parties are not static, they’re dynamic. But when they change, they should change for the better. And I think it’s fair to say that they are concerned about this party becoming so Trumpian, frankly, driven by the power of one man. I think there’s a lot of concern about the nativism, the protectionism, the isolationism. These are very concerning attributes.”
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Dan Merica contributed to this report.