- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia warned fellow Republicans Tuesday against supporting Donald Trump’s presidential bid, calling the GOP front-runner a “con man” and warning the “harm done to our party would be nothing short of catastrophic.”

Mr. Rigell, who is not seeking re-election, said Mr. Trump is a “bully, unworthy of our nomination” and said he has concluded that he cannot support Mr. Trump if he is the party’s nominee in the general election.

“My love for our country eclipses my loyalty to our party, and to live with a clear conscience, I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgment, temperament and character needed to be our nation’s commander-in-chief,” he said in an email blast. “Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should he become our Republican nominee.”

Mr. Rigell’s declaration comes after Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a favorite of grassroots conservatives, said this week he could not back Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump, though, has recently gained the support of other high-profile Republicans, including Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who pulled out of the GOP presidential race last month.

In an email blast, Mr. Rigell implored Republicans to recognize that Mr. Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail, including his recent reluctance to denounce former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, points to “to a reckless, embarrassing and ultimately dangerous presidency.”

He said Mr. Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it is bogus.

“Mexico will not pay for a wall, nor should it, and it’s reckless for Trump to make that claim,” he said, adding that Mr. Trump would send the wrong message to the next generation of Republicans.

He said Mr. Trump is “an imposter” and “not a Republican.”

“My fellow Republicans, how much more must we see to know that his heart does not reflect our values and creed? How much more must we hear of his flip-flops on issues fundamental to our party to know that his convictions run shallow?” Mr. Rigell said.

“Everything I have learned in life about leadership, about business, and about our incredible country tells me to pull every alarm in the house,” he said. “A con man is among us. With great respect I implore you, my fellow Republicans, to vote for any candidate but Donald Trump.”

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