Sen. Lisa Murkowski Says She ‘Could Not Vote’ For GOP Front-Runner Donald Trump

The Alaska Republican urged voters to not give up on former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s candidacy.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Saturday said she’s not prepared to vote for former President Donald Trump, the front-runner in the Republican presidential primary, as she urged voters not to give up on his rival Nikki Haley’s candidacy.

In a phone interview with NBC News, Murkowski, who endorsed the former South Carolina governor on Friday, said she refuses to accept that the two main options available for Americans to choose from this November will be Trump and Democratic President Joe Biden.

“I could not” cast a vote for Trump, Murkowski, a frequent critic of the former president, told NBC’s Ali Vitali.

“I can’t vote for Biden,” she added.

Murkowski also called on voters who share her desire to avoid another Trump-Biden rematch to give Haley a chance.

“It’s not just a situation where Nikki is the lesser of the evils,” Murkowski said. “She is a qualified, competent, capable leader at a time when the country needs them.”

Haley on Sunday scored her first win in the GOP contest, defeating Trump in the Washington, D.C. primary, also becoming the first woman in U.S. history to win a GOP primary. However, Trump over the weekend won the caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and received all 39 delegates from a party convention in Michigan, further solidifying his position as the front-runner in the race.

Alaska, Murkowski’s home state, is holding its primary on Super Tuesday along with 14 other states for Republicans.

Haley has previously pledged to stay in the race through at least Super Tuesday.

Asked if she was prepared to stay in the contest through the Republican National Convention in July, Haley told NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday: “If the people want to see me go forward, they’ll show it. They’ll show it in their votes, they’ll show it in their donations.”

Murkowski said she wouldn’t know how to proceed if Haley chose to drop out.

Murkowski was the first senator to endorse Haley, closely followed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) Friday.

Both senators voted to convict the former president in his impeachment trial in the upper chamber over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

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