Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Ari Fleischer Rescinds Endorsement of Donald Trump at Last Moment

— Ari Fleischer, a White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, said he will leave his presidential ballot blank, walking back his endorsement of Donald Trump earlier this year.

Fleischer, who serves on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, cited several reasons for his change of heart in a Washington Post op-ed.

“Trump lost control of himself and his message,” Fleischer wrote Friday. “He veered recklessly off track, attacking an American judge for his Mexican heritage, criticizing a war hero’s family, questioning the legitimacy of the election and otherwise raising questions about his judgment.”

In May, Fleischer had endorsed the billionaire real estate magnate, writing on Twitter, “There’s a lot about Donald Trump that I don’t like, but I’ll vote for Trump over Hillary any day.”

In the Friday op-ed, Fleischer again dismissed voting for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, calling her “dishonest.”

“I will vote for Republicans up and down the ballot. But when it comes to the presidency, I’m going to leave my ballot blank,” he concluded.

A JTA survey of the Republican Jewish Coalition board showed that more than 80 percent of members have declined to donate to their party’s presidential nominee, either directly or through a body called the Trump Victory Committee, which is jointly run by the campaign and the Republican National Committee. The group endorsed Trump in May.

The numbers from the JTA survey stand in stark contrast to previous election cycles. In 2012 and 2008, the vast majority of the current board members donated to Mitt Romney and John McCain, respectively, with many giving the maximum direct donation of $5,000.

This year, while many of the board members donated to Republican presidential candidates during the primaries, most have kept their wallets closed as Election Day is at hand.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.