Penn State College Republicans may have voted to not endorse Donald Trump, but a different student group said it is dedicated to supporting the Republican presidential nominee.
That group is We Are for Trump Penn State, which released a statement on the College Republicans.
We Are for Trump alleges that the College Republicans’ decision was made via a “secret ballot,” in which the group supportive of Trump claims 33 members responded to an email ballot.
“This means that out of the 40,000 students on campus at the Pennsylvania State University, 24 College ‘Republicans’ voted to not endorse their party’s nominee,” We Are for Trump said in the statement. “Hardly headline material.”
College Republicans chairman Michael Straw said the vote was not a secret ballot, noting that the vote was promoted on social media before it occurred and that two emails were sent the day of the vote as reminders to respond. He said members had from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday to vote.
Penn State College Republicans will not endorse a presidential candidate for the election, Straw said. He said the group will support Republicans such as U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township; state Sen. John Rafferty, a candidate for attorney general; state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte; and Otto Voit, a candidate for state treasurer.
We Are for Trump expressed disappointment that “establishment and College Republicans endorse candidates who profess individual liberty through language, but reject (Trump), a candidate who exemplifies it through action.”
We Are for Trump argued that the Republican nominee deserves support, first citing his record number of votes for any candidate in Republican primary history. The group admittedly has fewer than 100 members, but it envisions an inclusive and growing membership.
“We are Republicans, independents and Democrats. We support Donald Trump, because he has a mind of his own,” We Are for Trump said. “The Republican establishment and College Republicans refuse to endorse Trump, because he won’t conform to their perceived Republican standards. Is individual liberty, the source of this Republican dichotomy, not the central ideology from which our party spawned?”
The group said the Democratic Party would also rather conform than embrace individual liberty. We Are for Trump said that College Republicans rejecting Trump establishes “that conformity is the characteristic that they value most in a presidential candidate.
“It is a dark day indeed when a political party who claims to defend individual liberty decides instead to turn its back on its champion,” the group said. “Actions speak louder than words, and ... the College Republicans have just assumed an acute likeness to the most liberal sects of the Democratic Party.”
Straw declined to respond to reactions, positive or negative, regarding the College Republicans’ decision.