A former congressman from Hawaii said Monday he’s leaving the Republican Party because of President Donald Trump and the failure of fellow party members to stand up to him.
Charles Djou, who represented Honolulu in the US House from 2010 to 2011, wrote in an opinion piece published in Civil Beat on Monday he’s disturbed that the Republican Party under Trump has become hostile to immigration.
Djou lamented Trump’s desire to launch a trade war, his treatment of veterans like Sen. John McCain, his belittling of lawmakers and his recitation of conspiracy theories.
“I can no longer stand with a Republican Party that is led by a man I firmly believe is taking the party of Lincoln in a direction I fundamentally disagree with, and a party that is unwilling to stand up to him,” Djou wrote.
Djou said he’s most disappointed by the failure of the GOP to clearly and consistently condemn Trump’s “childish behavior.”
“Sadly today, too many Republicans either applaud Trump’s tirades or greet them with silent acceptance,” Djou said. “This leads to an implicit ratification by the GOP of Trump’s undisciplined, uninformed and unfocused leadership as a core part of the Republican Party.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Djou served in the Honolulu City Council and in the state House. He is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.
He unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2012 and 2014. He’s not currently seeking public office.
Shirlene Ostrov, the chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party, said the party is disappointed but wishes Djou its best.
“He doesn’t share the same values as the Republican Party of today, and I understand he has to part ways in order, perhaps, to go a different way himself politically,” she said.