A New York Times op-ed by a prominent Republican donor on the eve of the presidential election suggested that he might not vote for either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, but instead, that he was a “Bernie supporter, just like I am” — even if the former was “more progressive” than the latter.
The article, by Robert Greenstein, was published on Sunday, just as Sanders was preparing to deliver his first major speech on the economic policies he wants to implement in the next four years, including the promise of a $15 minimum wage.
“It’s a huge challenge for me, and it’s a massive challenge for all of us, to say to our constituents: ‘Hey, let’s make it a $17 an hour minimum wage, and let’s invest in infrastructure, let it be universal health care,'” Greenstein said in the op-amp.
“Let’s make sure that we have decent education for our kids, let people have decent jobs, let us get a tax reform package done that works for all Americans.”
But Greenstein’s remarks, which came a day after Sanders spoke on behalf of his campaign to a joint session of Congress, come as many Republican donors are trying to determine whether they will be willing to support Trump or the Democratic Party nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Greenstein had donated to the Republican National Committee, and a number of prominent Republican donors who had donated more to the party have said they would vote for Sanders over Trump in the general election.
In an interview with The Hill on Tuesday, Greenstein denied that he has “rejected” the notion of voting for either Trump or Sanders.
“I have always said that I am a Bernie supporter, even though I am more progressive than either of them,” Greenstein told The Hill.
“What I have said is, I’m a big fan of the Clintons.
I would vote them in.
They’re terrific people.
But they’ve made a mistake and it will be hard for them to be reelected.”
“They have made a huge mistake,” he added.
“They made a disastrous mistake.
And they will have to live with it for the rest of their lives.”
He noted that, in a few years, there would be “huge ramifications” for the economy, because “they’ve destroyed everything.”
Greenstein also noted that “there are many of us who are pro-life, pro-gay marriage, pro gay marriage, and pro-civil rights, and I support them all.”
The Times’ editorial board noted that Greenfield was “one of the few prominent Republican contributors” to endorse Sanders.
The op-eds come amid a sharp divide within the party, with many Republicans expressing deep frustration with Trump’s candidacy, and some Democrats expressing admiration for the Vermont senator.
While some Republicans have expressed support for Trump in general — such as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who said in a Monday interview with CNN that Trump “has been a very good president,” and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R, Ala., who supported Trump in his bid for the presidency — others, such as Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., have been critical of Trump.
Greenstein wrote that he would have “died” for Trump, and that “if the Democratic nominee wins, the consequences will be catastrophic.”
“The Republican Party has gone from being the party of Lincoln and FDR to the Republicans of the 21st century,” he wrote.
“The party has gone backward.
It is in trouble.
It has lost the confidence of many in its capacity to govern.”