WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Former Republican Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa Tuesday endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president.
The former House member said Obama's platform is one of "old American values that are as much a part of the Republican as the Democratic tradition," ABC News reported.
The Illinois senator's platform is "a call to change," Leach said. "But the change that he so gracefully is articulating is more renewal than departure."
When asked if Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska was planning to endorse Obama, Leach said, "I think we'll wait for Chuck to make that announcement."
Leach made his announcement in a conference call announcing the start of "Republicans for Obama."
Others in the group include former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee and Rita Hauser, who served on President George Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the President's Intelligence Oversight Board.
Hauser said if likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain, the senator from Arizona, were elected it would mean a "third" term for Bush's policies.
"It's difficult to walk away from your nominee but you have to put your country first," Hauser said.