Republican strategist Ryan Wiggins is a Pensacola native who has worked to put Donald Trump cheerleader Matt Gaetz into Congress, elect Jackie Toledo of Tampa to the Florida House, and passionately supported U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Today, the self-described Ronald Reagan Republican is not just disenchanted with her lifelong political party, but hopeless about its future and actively working to stop its leader from winning a second term in the White House. She says today’s GOP is a danger to America, having embraced parts of the base that had used to be well out of view: racists, fringe conspiracy theorists and fascists.
“I don’t think the Republican party ever goes back. I don’t think the Republican party that I joined is there anymore,” Wiggins says in the latest episode of Political Party with Adam Smith.
She is now working with The Lincoln Project, a political action committee run by veteran Republican strategists aiming to defeat President Trump and many of his high profile supporters in elected office.
She is working with the Republican consultants including Rick Wilson of Tallahassee, former Charlie Crist adviser Stuart Stevens, and John McCain advisers Steve Schmidt and John Weaver.
She said she and fellow Lincoln Project leaders understand that for years, they had a hand in encouraging those voters.
“One of the hardest things I have had the hardest time reckoning with over the past four years is the part that I have played that has led to this day,” she said. “We know we were part of the problem.”
What about future Republican leaders in Florida?
“Ron DeSantis I think has tanked his career, I truly do, with his poor handling of Covid.”
And she called Rubio a giant disappointment in his response to Trump: “Youve got to stand for something. And not standing up against a guy who has bullied you and made fun of you and has been just a horrible person, people lose respect.”
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