NASHVILLE — Governor Bill Haslam spoke out on Thursday to explain why he won’t be voting for Donald Trump and will be writing in a different Republican.
Haslam said he still believes it would be best for the Republican Party if Trump steps aside and lets Mike Pence be the presidential nominee.
He said he had to speak out about this race because he thinks the long-term impact on the Republican Party will be critical.
Haslam was at the Grand Ole Opry to release the annual report for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He took a tour of the Opry with a developmentally challenged tour guide and got feedback on Tennessee’s progress in hiring people with disabilities.
After the event, Trump became the main topic of discussion.
Haslam said he has serious concerns about what a Hillary Clinton presidency could mean for the economy, but he also is not supporting Trump.
Over the weekend, Haslam said Trump needs to step aside. He explained those comments on Thursday.
“I won’t be voting for Hillary. I will find a Republican to vote for. It was my hope, that I said, when I made the statement, it was my hope, I thought the best thing for the party would have been for him to step aside. I no longer think that’s going to happen, but I will say this: It’s really important for Republicans like me to still go vote. We have a lot of critical races, and it’s more important than ever that people show up to vote,” Haslam said.
Haslam said he still stands still firmly committed to the Republican Party, which is why he made the statement, but he is really concerned about the message the party is communicating. He feels now was the time to speak out after the latest comments from Trump on women.