GOP strategist Rob Stutzman, a leader of the “Never Trump” effort in California, is remaining with the Republican Party despite its nomination of Donald Trump.
Jimmy Camp, a lesser figure in the movement, is not.
“I have jumped off the cliff,” Camp said by phone after announcing his intentions in an email Thursday.
“Donald Trump is a narcissistic, self-centered, unprincipled, miserable example of a human being,” Camp wrote on the day Trump is to formally accept the nomination at the Republican National Convention.
Camp, known for his grassroots organizing in Southern California GOP campaigns, said he turned down a position with the Trump campaign in April ahead of the state’s primary election. He has spent nearly three decades in GOP politics, working on behalf of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Camp said a friend reached out and asked him to reconsider his position and to try to change the party from within. But Camp said he told them he can’t – “not with Trump as the nominee.”
He said he may reconsider his shift to unaffiliated voter “when” Trump loses to Hillary Clinton in November. He is leaning toward voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson.
A year from now anyone who was in that convention hall (Wednesday) night is going to claim they cheered Ted Cruz.
Rob Stutzman, Sacramento-based Republican consultant
Camp follows the departure from the party of Valerie Walston, a former spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee and Gov. Pete Wilson. Walston, who now lives in Washington state, wrote in a Facebook message that she’s worked for Republican elected officials and at two national conventions over the last two decades.
“I just resigned my membership with the Republican Party, she wrote, adding the hasgtag #NeverTrump.
Stutzman, for his part, said he’s waiting for Trump to pass “and leave.”
“I imagine he’ll go back to writing big checks to liberals,” Stutzman said.
“Anyone else but Trump would have been leading Clinton right now,” he added. “A year from now anyone who was in that convention hall (Wednesday) night is going to claim they cheered Ted Cruz.”