Dold says he'll back a write-in candidate for president instead of Trump
Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Dold on Wednesday said he won't vote for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and will instead back an unspecified write-in candidate.
Dold made the revelation during an interview at the Daily Herald headquarters in Arlington Heights that also featured 10th District Democratic challenger and former congressman Brad Schneider.
Dold, of Kenilworth, said he's turned his back on Trump because of comments the New York businessman and reality TV star has made about women, Hispanics, Muslims, disabled people and prisoners of war.
"(I) can't support them and I can't defend them," he said of Trump's comments.
The tipping point, Dold said, was Trump's dismissal of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who was among the American pilots taken prisoner during the Vietnam War.
"He's not a war hero," Trump infamously said last year.
"I like people who weren't captured."
One of Dold's uncles, Robert Harper Shumaker, was a Navy pilot who was shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese in 1965 and spent nearly eight years as a POW. Shumaker is credited for naming the infamous Hoa Lo Prison the "Hanoi Hilton."
Dold's daughter, Harper, is named after Shumaker.
"I was very clear right from the get-go in 2015 that I would not support Donald Trump," Dold said.
He was among the top Illinois Republicans who skipped this summer's GOP national convention, where Trump formally received the presidential nomination. Other notable absentees included U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Gov. Bruce Rauner.
"It's difficult to stick your neck out and not support who is going to be your party's nominee," Dold said.
On the other side of the aisle, Schneider has been an outspoken backer of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and he renewed that support Wednesday.
But that doesn't mean he's going to carry her water on every legislative issue if both he and Clinton are elected in November.
"Because I'm voting for Hillary Clinton doesn't mean I'm giving her a blank check," said Schneider, of Deerfield.
"When I disagree with her, I'm going to stand up to her."
During Wednesday's interview, Schneider acknowledged Dold criticized Trump last year, but he called out the congressman for not speaking up after any of Trump's more recent controversial comments, such as those he made about the Muslim parents of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq.
"Bob Dold has been shockingly, depressingly silent," Schneider said. "He has not turned to his supporters and said, 'You cannot support this man.'"
Dold asked if Schneider expected him to "follow (Trump) around with a legal pad" and respond to every comment the presidential contender makes.
The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties. It stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.
This is the third electoral showdown between Dold and Schneider. Dold lost the seat to Schneider in 2012 but won it in a 2014 rematch.