Tim Miller is a Republican campaign operative who has worked for leading Republican politicians. Now he’s co-leading an organization to get party members to vote against Donald Trump.
Tim Miller: Boy — since I was a kid. My whole life. I started to get into politics in middle school and identified as a Republican then. I remember paying close attention to the 1996 [presidential] primary, and then I took a job as an intern while in high school on a Republican governor’s race in Colorado in 1998.
I did not think he could win. I thought it was a joke. Turns out I was wrong, obviously. His poll numbers were doing well, he was having a big impact on driving the narrative of the race, so we pivoted to taking him more seriously early in the summer.
Why did you not want him to win?
Everything imaginable about Donald Trump. His initial platform for engaging in politics was advancing the racist conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born in Africa. I thought that was disgusting. His announcement speech included racist attacks on Mexicans being rapists and criminals. He is obviously on every level unqualified for the job. His personal character is beneath what I thought we should expect for a president.
Who did you vote for in the general presidential election in 2016?
I decided the last week to vote for Hillary [Clinton, the Democratic candidate]. I was initially persuaded by the argument that maybe there should be a third-party candidate. But I determined that Donald Trump was just too great of a threat to the country to cast a throwaway vote for someone that didn’t have the best chance to beat him. So I voted for Hillary.
What do you think of Donald Trump now and of his presidency so far?
It has been an utter disaster in every imaginable sense. He has degraded the office of the presidency to a degree that would have been unimaginable five years ago. He has ruined our alliances with our allies overseas such as Germany, while cozying up to the most grotesque dictators in the world, from Kim Jong Un [in North Korea] to Erdogan [in Turkey], to Xi [in China], to Putin [in Russia]. These are his allies — the autocrats, not the democratic nations that should be America’s allies throughout the world. He has bungled and mismanaged the [coronavirus] pandemic worse than any leader in the world, except perhaps the mini-Trump in Brazil [President Jair Bolsonaro].
Trump has not demonstrated any interest in taking the job seriously. He has further exacerbated racial tensions in this country. He’s the first president in my lifetime who is not even attempting to unite or heal the country at a time of racial division.
He’s been an utter failure, and I’m happy to be part of the effort to get rid of him. I look forward to voting for Joe Biden.