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Former Rep. Will Hurd enters GOP nomination race with attacks on Trump

Ex-president is a ‘lawless, selfish, failed politician,’ Texan says in video

Former Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, launched his campaign for president on Thursday.
Former Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, launched his campaign for president on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Will Hurd of Texas announced that he is running for president Thursday, staking out the anti-Trump lane in a Republican field that largely has been careful in its criticism of the former president.

Hurd was direct in his denunciation of Donald Trump, calling him a “failed politician” in an announcement video that said Republicans deserve a better standard bearer.

“If we nominate a lawless, selfish, failed politician like Donald Trump, who lost the House, the Senate and the White House, we all know Joe Biden will win again,” Hurd said.

Hurd, a former CIA officer, served three terms in the House before opting not to run again in 2020. In Congress, he established a reputation for independence. Hurd, who is Black, voted against his party on several key votes related to Trump’s rhetoric and policy, such as a Democrat-led resolution condemning Trump for remarks telling non-white members of Congress they should “go back” to other countries. Hurd also voted against repeal of the 2010 health care law known as the Affordable Care Act.

Although he has criticized Trump, Hurd voted against impeaching him in 2019. Explaining his decision on the House floor, he said the American people had learned of “bungling foreign policy decisions” but stopped short of saying Trump’s conduct was impeachable beyond a reasonable doubt. He also decried the process, saying it set a precedent for impeachment turning into a “weaponized political tool.”

CQ vote studies found that Hurd supported Trump’s position on legislation 97 percent of the time in 2017 and 93 percent of the time in 2018.

His campaign video emphasized key themes Republicans have campaigned on in recent years.

“Illegal immigration and fentanyl stream into our country,” he said. “Inflation, still out of control. Crime and homelessness growing in our cities, and liberals do nothing.”

MAGA Inc., a PAC supporting Trump, issued a statement criticizing Hurd as a RINO — or Republican in Name Only — who is weak on immigration and supports social media companies’ efforts to “censor” Trump.

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