The former Republican governor of Pennsylvania has called on undecided voters to join him in voting for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, for president.
In a tweet posted late Monday night, Tom Ridge shared an op-ed recently written for the Philadelphia Inquirer explaining why he would be the first Democratic presidential candidate to cast his vote.
Next to a link to the article he wrote: “If there are still some of you undecideds – especially in Pennsylvania – I respectfully share my reasoning for supporting @JoeBiden. I hope you’ll join me.”
Ridge, who served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001, added: “Either way, vote. And be patient while the ballots are counted.”
If there are still some of you undecideds among you-especially in Pennsylvania-I respectfully share my reasons for supporting @JoeBiden. I hope you will join me. Either way, take a vote. And be patient while the ballots are counted. https://t.co/rM9MnwjZhr
– Tom Ridge Government (@GovRidge) November 3, 2020
In his September op-ed, Ridge compared President Donald Trump’s response to the current coronavirus pandemic to President George W. Bush’s unifying behavior after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Ridge was the first Secretary of Homeland Security during the Bush administration and served in this capacity until 2005.
The 75-year-old noted that while there are similarities in the nation’s response to both crises, they “do not include the presidential leadership.
“Donald Trump has proven over the past four years that he is not capable of such leadership,” Ridge wrote. “It is not in his heart. He lacks the empathy, integrity, intellect and maturity to lead. He sows divisions along political, racial and religious lines.
“And he routinely rejects the opinions of experts who know far more about the subject than he does – intelligence, military and public health,” Ridge wrote.
He added that the United States “has paid dearly with lost lives, social unrest, economic hardship and our standing in the world.
Ridge said he believed that Biden “absolutely must become the next president of America,” and said the former vice president had “the experience and empathy to help us deal not only with the pandemic but also with other problems that have shattered our nation, including social injustice, income inequality and immigration policy reform.
Ridge also noted that voters in Pennsylvania, as in other contested states, are likely to ultimately determine the winner of the 2020 election-and beat Trump for sowing doubts about the integrity of the election process-and he said that the election process is not the only one in which the electorate is likely to be involved.
“We are in the middle of a health crisis, although we should do everything we can to help citizens vote safely, but he continues to doubt the integrity of the election. He has done so on several occasions here in Pennsylvania. It is regrettable, but entirely consistent with past reprehensible behavior,” Ridge wrote.
Pennsylvania emerged as the state with the best battlefield in the 2020 election, and polls show Biden ahead.
Both campaigns see the state as the one that could tip them over the 270 votes from the electoral college needed to win the White House, with both Trump and Biden making a final push into the state in the final days of their campaign to secure the state’s 20 electoral votes.
During the campaign in Biden’s hometown of Scranton on Monday, Trump had his sights set on Pennsylvania Democrat Tom Wolf. “Make sure your governor doesn’t cheat, because they’re known for very bad things here,” Trump said, without going into detail. “We have a lot of eyes on the governor and his friends,” Trump added.
On Twitter, Wolf replied, “The Pennsylvanians are not intimidated. They can watch us count every vote and have a fair election”.
In his statement, Ridge concluded his appeal to voters with the remark that “so much is at stake.
“This year I believe the responsible vote is for Joe Biden,” he added. “It is a vote for decency. A vote for the rule of law. And a vote for honest and sincere leadership. It is time to put the country above the party. It is time to dismiss Donald Trump”…