Three More in House GOP Caucus Just Say No to Trump

Scott Rigell, a Virginia Republican, is shown in his Virginia Beach office.
Scott Rigell, a Virginia Republican
By REID J. EPSTEIN  – – – –

The not-Donald Trump caucus among House Republicans now numbers at least four, with Reps. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, Scott Rigell of Virginia and Mark Sanford of South Carolina saying they won’t support the GOP front-runner if he wins their party’s nomination.

The three join Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who was among a growing host of Republicans declaring their refusal to back Mr. Trump if he becomes the GOP standard bearer.

Mr. Ribble, who in December told a Wisconsin TV station that he would never support Mr. Trump, said in a Tuesday interview that a growing contingent of House Republicans say privately they’ll never support the New York developer.

“There is a pretty significant number who say it to me privately, so I can’t say who they are, but it’s at least two dozen,” Mr. Ribble said.

Mr. Ribble in January announced he is not seeking re-election to his Green Bay-based seat. He said his House GOP colleagues who won’t support Mr. Trump but won’t say so publicly are playing to feelings of the base Republican voters in their districts.

“There is a little bit of concern of offending voters who have chosen him,” Mr. Ribble said. “You’ve got voters in your congressional district who are supporting Mr. Trump and you don’t want to give any offense to them.”

Mr. Sanford, who endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz the day before South Carolina’s primary, told The Wall Street Journal in an e-mail that he could not back Mr. Trump as the GOP nominee.

“Not that political views mean anything in this year, but because I believe in constitutionally limited government, his candidacy is one I certainly can’t support,” Mr. Sanford said.

Mr. Rigell, who like Mr. Ribble is not seeking re-election, joined the not-Trump caucus with a lengthy email to supporters late Monday night. In it the Virginia Beach car dealer said a Trump victory would be “catastrophic for our Republican Party” and declared he would never support him in November.

“Trump is a bully, unworthy of our nomination,” Mr. Rigell wrote. “My love of our country eclipse 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 commander-in-chief. Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should be become our Republican nominee.”


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