Harvard Professor Announces He's No Longer a Republican Because It's Become the 'Party of Trump'

Harvard University economics professor Greg Mankiw has revealed that he has left the Republican Party because of what it has become during Donald Trump's presidency.

Mankiw, who was the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush from 2003 to 2005, said he changed his voter registration to independent in a blog post entitled "I am no longer a Republican" on Monday.

"I just came back from city hall, where I switched my voter registration from Republican to unenrolled (aka independent)," Mankiw wrote.

Mankiw cited two reasons for this decision: That too many Republicans in Congress are willing to "overlook Trump's misdeeds" to protect their jobs and also so he can vote in the Democratic primary to help choose a center-left candidate as the Democratic nominee for president.

He added that he was "out" unless the Republican Party returned to having "honorable" leaders like former president George W. Bush, the late Senator John McCain and Senator Mitt Romney.

McCain and Romney both ran unsuccessful campaigns for the presidency as the Republican Party's candidate. Mankiw advised Romney during his presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

"The Republican Party has largely become the Party of Trump," Mankiw wrote. "Too many Republicans in Congress are willing, in the interest of protecting their jobs, to overlook Trump's misdeeds (just as too many Democrats were for Clinton during his impeachment).

"I have no interest in associating myself with that behavior. Maybe someday, the party will return to having honorable leaders like Bush, McCain, and Romney. Until then, count me out."

Mankiw's second reason for becoming an Independent is because unenrolled voters can vote in either primary in Massachusetts, he said in his blog post.

He wants to vote in the Democratic Party's primary to ensure Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who he described as "far-left populists," don't become the party's nominee for president.

Warren and Sanders propose to move the U.S. too close to "heavy-handed state control," according to Mankiw. He believes this would lead center and center-right voters to "hold their noses" and re-elect Trump.

"The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, where it has to choose either a center-left candidate (Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Yang) or a far-left populist (Warren, Sanders) as their nominee for president," Mankiw wrote.

"I intend to help them choose the former. The latter propose to move the country too far in the direction of heavy-handed state control. And in doing so, they tempt those in the center and center-right to hold their noses and vote for Trump's reelection."

Ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Mankiw had said that Trump would not be getting his vote.

"I have Republican friends who think that things couldn't be worse than doubling down on Obama policies under Hillary Clinton. And, like them, I am no fan of the left's agenda of large government and high taxes. But they are wrong: Things could be worse. And I fear they would be under Mr. Trump," Mankiw wrote in a blog post in August 2016.

As well as his belief that Trump had not laid out a "coherent economic worldview" but one with a recurrent theme of "hostility to a free and open system of international trade", Mankiw cited Trump's temperament for his decision.

"I am not a psychologist, so I cannot figure out what Mr. Trump's personal demons are. But he does not show the admirable disposition that I saw in previous presidents and presidential candidates I have had the honor to work for," Mankiw added.

Mankiw declined to comment further about his decision to Newsweek.

Update: This story has been updated after receiving a response from Mankiw.

President Donald Trump addresses the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convention on October 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty