- Associated Press - Sunday, August 14, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - In a departure from his boss’s position, Utah Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said he won’t support Donald Trump unless the GOP nominee dramatically changes his tone.

Cox, who was undecided about Trump during the Republican National Convention earlier this summer, said the nominee’s rhetoric has become worse since then and pushed him further away.

“If there were some major changes to Trump, I think there’s a way many of us could support him, but he hasn’t shown any inclination toward those changes or doing things differently,” Cox said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune (https://bit.ly/2buSfl6 ) that was published Saturday. “I think it’s a long shot that he will change.”

Cox is diverging from Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who said at a televised news conference a few days ago that he would vote for Trump. Herbert wouldn’t say whether Trump’s controversial comments on the campaign trail bothered him, but noted that some voters find the billionaire businessman’s candor refreshing.

“Clearly what pops into his head and comes out of his mouth is sometimes not filtered,” Herbert said.

Cox said he wasn’t being critical of Herbert’s decision, but feels Trump’s actions don’t reflect the ideals of the Republican Party.

“I believe in the party of Lincoln, a party that reaches out to others, that is optimistic, that lifts up those that need the most help,” Cox said. “I feel (Trump) represents the opposite of almost every one of those things I believe the Republican Party has meant for 150 years.”

The lieutenant governor is still not sure how he’ll vote in November, adding that he feels as strongly against Democrat Hillary Clinton as he does against Trump. He said he’s met with candidate Evan McMullin and has researched Libertarian Gary Johnson but may also write in a completely different person.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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