Longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announced that he is registering as a Democrat after nearly 30 years with the Republican Party.
Schmidt made the announcement during an episode of the “Battleground” podcast published Monday, as he and co-host David Plouffe were discussing the Republican House members and state attorneys general that backed Texas’s ill-fated election lawsuit before the Supreme Court.
“I spent 29 years as a Republican, I’ve spent two and a half as an independent, and later this afternoon I will register as a member of the Democratic Party,” Schmidt told Plouffe. “Because in America today, it’s only the Democratic Party—which is the oldest political party in the world—that stands for the ideas and ideals of American liberty.”
Steve breaks some big news about his party affiliation. And the legendary @carlbernstein breaks down today’s news and puts it in historical context. It may not be the episode you want to hear, but need to hear. https://t.co/buZYaKs2Sc pic.twitter.com/0n59vgjv92
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) December 15, 2020
Schmidt worked on the the presidential campaign of late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLongtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he’s registering Democrat Five things to know about Lloyd Austin, Biden’s Pentagon pick The Memo: Democrats grapple with ‘elite’ tag MORE (R-Ariz.) in 2008, and on former President George W. Bush’s campaign in 2004.
The former Republican renounced the party in 2018 and identified as an independent. He’s been one of the president’s fiercest critics, and is a co-founder of The Lincoln Project, a prominent anti-Trump PAC.
Schmidt said that he would no longer accommodate areas of the GOP that he argued have become “the mainstream part of [the] coalition,” mentioning white nationalists and militia groups.
“I think we win—and by we, I mean America—or they win,” Schmidt said. “And I think the place where that fight will take place from is in the Democratic Party.”
Plouffe, who served as a senior adviser to former President Obama, welcomed Schmidt in the party.
“Well, we’re glad to have you, welcome brother,” Plouffe said.
The news comes as retiring Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellLongtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he’s registering Democrat The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Mastercard – US inoculations begin; state electors certify Biden; Barr is out GOP leaders pinched by pro-Trump bid to reverse election outcome MORE (R-Mich.) announced that he was leaving the party over President TrumpDonald TrumpTop Trump aide Derek Lyons to leave White House this month Judge rules Trump Org must turn over documents to NY AG as part of probe Longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he’s registering Democrat MORE’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.