Rick Snyder, Michigan’s GOP former two-term governor who signed the landmark Right to Work law, hasn’t even been out of office for two years before the head of the state Republican Party started taking shots at him.
Laura Cox — the former state representative whose husband, former Attorney General Mike Cox, lost to Snyder in a heated 2010 GOP primary — took to Twitter Thursday morning to torch Snyder for endorsing Democrat Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. Snyder sat out the 2016 presidential race, while occasionally criticizing Trump on civility grounds, unlike dozens of high-profile Republicans who endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Cox rhetorically asked if “1 MI voter cares who he would support” for president and dismissed Snyder as “Mr. Irrelevant” before promising Trump would win Michigan again in November.
— Laura Cox (@MIGOPChair) September 3, 2020
Snyder wrote an op-ed in Thursday’s USA Today titled, “I am a Republican vote for Biden.” The subhead treaded on familiar ground for the Republican, who served from 2011 to 2019: “Donald Trump is a bully who lacks a moral compass. Joe Biden would bring back civility.”
His announcement was heralded by several Dems on social media, including former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, whom he succeeded.
Snyder started out with an anecdote about celebrating his “18th birthday at the 1976 Republican National Convention as part of Gerald Ford’s national youth group” and called himself a “lifelong Republican,” even though he reportedly initially considered an independent bid for governor and was a “founding champion” of the centrist think tank, the Center for Michigan, which began operating the publication Bridge Magazine during his tenure.
The former governor goes on to pledge, “I will continue to support and stand up for Republican policies and values, and support Republican candidates, but I will not support Donald Trump for reelection.”
Snyder did a callback to his “One Tough Nerd” slogan, writing about Trump: “Being a bully and being strong are not the same thing. Being strong is standing up for your convictions. Being a bully is trying to intimidate those who are perceived to be weaker or a threat. As a proud nerd, I had to deal with bullies over many years; it is tragedy watching our world suffer from one. In addition, President Trump lacks a moral compass. He ignores the truth.”
Snyder is best known for presiding over the Flint water crisis, which abruptly put an end to chatter that he could run for president in 2016. Last year, he was offered a fellowship at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, but he ended up turning it down after the ensuing backlash.
Several Michigan Republicans have endorsed Biden over Trump, including: former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott (R-Commerce Twp.), Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor, former state Rep. David Maturen and former Michigan GOP Chair Jeff Timmer, who has written columns for the Advance.