Iowa state Rep. Andy McKean announced his decision to leave the GOP to join the Democratic Party on Tuesday, noting his move was influenced by President Donald Trump‘s “poor example for the nation.”
McKean, who is Iowa’s longest-serving Republican state representative, explained the reasoning for his decision in a press release from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
“Upon returning to Des Moines after a 15-year hiatus, I found a very different place,” McKean said. “In addition, I found a very changed Republican Caucus,” he added, contrasting the differences of the party to when he was first elected in 1978.
McKean went on to affirm that the “increasingly uncomfortable” feeling he had with his former party was not only due to the political shift around Republicans, but also their support of Trump:
“I might have limped along attempting to work within my caucus for what I felt was best for the people I represent if it hadn’t been for another factor. I believe that is just a matter of time before our country pays a heavy price for President Trump’s reckless spending and short-signed financial policies, his erratic, destabilizing foreign policy, and his disregard for environmental concerns.”
The Iowa lawmaker delivered a speech on Tuesday to discuss his party switch.
“With the 2020 presidential election looming on the horizon, I feel, as a Republican, that I need to be able to support the standard bearer of our party,” McKean said. “Unfortunately, that is something I’m unable to do.”
Watch the video below:
#BREAKING Rep. Andy McKean switches from the Republican Party to the Democrats.
— Ben Oldach (@BenOldach) April 23, 2019
McKean continued to rebuke the president, calling Trump out for “bullying” his detractors.
“He sets, in my opinion, a poor example for the nation and particularly for our children by personally insulting, often in a crude and juvenile fashion, those who disagree with him,” McKean stated, according to The Hill.
The Iowa representative went on to argue that Trump is “being a bully at a time when we’re attempting to discourage bullying,” pointing out “his frequent disregard for the truth, and his willingness to ridicule or marginalize people for their appearances, ethnicity, or disability.”