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Former Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger endorses Biden

 WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., endorsed President Joe Biden on Wednesday, the day before the first presidential debate, warning that ex-President Donald Trump “poses a direct threat to every fundamental American value.”

Kinzinger is one of the few Republicans who, through the years, has been willing to criticize Trump for lying, election denialism, conspiracy theories, trying to overturn the 2020 election, and his role in the Jan. 21, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

In his video message posted on the website of the organization he founded, Country First, Kinzinger referred to himself as a conservative, rather than a Republican.

“I'm a proud conservative. I always have been," Kinzinger said. "As a proud conservative, I’ve always put democracy and our Constitution above all else. And it’s because of my unwavering support for democracy, that today, as a proud conservative, I am endorsing Joe Biden for reelection. My entire life has been guided by the conviction that America is a beacon of freedom, liberty, and democracy.
“So while I certainly don’t agree with President Biden on everything — and I never thought I’d be endorsing a Democrat for president — I know that he will always protect the very thing that makes America the best country in the world: our democracy. Donald Trump poses a direct threat to every fundamental American value. He doesn’t care about our country. He doesn’t care about you. He only cares about himself, and he will hurt anyone or anything in pursuit of power.”

Calling Trump “dangerous,” Kinzinger added, “to every American of every political party and those of none, I say: Now is not the time to watch quietly as Donald Trump threatens the future of America.Now is the time to unite behind Joe Biden, and show Donald Trump off the stage once and for all.”

Kinzinger has been saying, as recently as last Friday when he was a guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” that he would be voting for Biden.

Far from a surprise, the full, formal endorsement released Wednesday is aimed at convincing anti-Trump Republicans to vote for Biden, and not sit out the election or vote for a third party candidate.

Kinzinger's announcement comes as the Biden campaign steps up efforts to secure votes from anti-Trump Republicans. On June 8, the campaign launched an outreach effort to land independent and moderate Republicans, especially supporters of Nikki Haley, Trump’s former United Nations ambassador and ex-South Carolina governor who dropped her 2024 presidential bid when it was clear Trump would be the nominee.

The number of Haley voters is large enough to make a difference in some key battleground states. As part of its bid for Haley voters, the Biden campaign produced a video spot stringing together the numerous insults Trump hurled at Haley before she ended her White House bid.

“Kinzinger represents the countless Americans that Donald Trump’s Republican Party have left behind," said Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez. "Those Americans have a home in President Biden’s coalition, and our campaign knows that we need to show up and earn their support.

"President Biden will always fight for American democracy, for the rule of law, treating each other with decency and dignity and respect, and working to find common ground — even when we don’t agree with each other on everything," Rodriguez continued. "Congressman Kinzinger’s endorsement doesn’t just make our campaign stronger — it will better equip us to win the hearts and minds of the voters committed to fighting for the future of our democracy and stopping Donald Trump.”

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