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GOP strategist Steve Schmidt voting Democratic over immigration

By Brooke Baitinger
GOP strategist Steve Schmidt voting Democratic over immigration
Republican Party strategist Steve Schmidt said Wednesday he is leaving the party after nearly 30 years to vote for Democrats, largely due to the national outcry over immigration policy. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

June 20 (UPI) -- Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist and one of the party's most vocal critics of President Donald Trump, renounced the party Wednesday and said he will begin voting for Democrats.

In a series of tweets, Schmidt slammed Trump and expressed disappointment he was leaving the party that once ended slavery.

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Schmidt said it's become the party of Trump and is now "corrupt, indecent and immoral."

He called out the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy for immigration, which has led to the separations of families during prosecution. He called the "worst abuse of humanity in our history," and said it's connected by the "same evil" that separated families during slavery and broke up Native American families.

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"It is immoral and must be repudiated," he wrote. "Our country is in trouble. Our politics are badly broken."

He also criticized Republican congressional leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan for allowing "internment camps for babies."

Schmidt, a former aide to Arizona Sen. John McCain and political commentator, said he's spent much of his life working in Republican politics.

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"I have always believed that both parties were two of the most important institutions to the advancement of human freedom and dignity in the history of the world," he tweeted. "Today the GOP has become a danger to our democracy and values."

Schmidt considers himself an independent voter and said he will now align himself with Democrats, whom he called the "only party left in America that stands for what is right and decent."

Other Republicans have recently condemned the party under Trump's leadership.

Former Hawaii Rep. Charles Djou announced in March he was leaving the party because of Trump's "hostile" immigration practices. Former Speaker John Boehner said earlier this month Trump had completely taken over the GOP.

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