There may be plenty of “Never Trumpers” on the Republican side of the aisle, with John Kasich and Jeb Bush immediately coming to mind, but no family can claim more current political power in the “Never Trumper” sphere than the Haslam family of Tennessee.
The controversial NFL protests against the National Anthem and the American Flag have been embraced by Jimmy and Dee Haslam, the owners of the Cleveland Browns.
Jimmy Haslam is Governor Bill Haslam’s older brother. The family owns Pilot-Flying J, the 14th largest privately owned company in the country. Jimmy Haslam is the company’s CEO.
The Haslams have supported their players’ protests and issued a harsh statement speaking out against Trump’s comments where he called for NFL owners to fire any players or employees who take a knee or don’t stand at attention during the National Anthem.
Statement from Dee and Jimmy Haslam pic.twitter.com/QvCmKPkKwc
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 24, 2017
“We must not let misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify,” the statement said in part.
The Haslam family’s animosity towards President Trump is nothing new. During the 2016 Presidential election Governor Bill Haslam announced he would not vote for President Trump if he refused to step aside and allow Mike Pence to assume the nomination. Despite the opposition of Governor Haslam, Donald Trump carried 92 of Tennessee’s 95 counties last November.
Bill Haslam is reportedly considering seeking the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Bob Corker, who announced Tuesday that he won’t be seeking re-election next year.
Haslam’s second term as Governor also ends next year and he is term limited from seeking reelection. During his term in office Haslam has seen his efforts to legislate Common Core, expand Obamacare and provide in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens defeated by the Republican majorities in the State House and Senate.
What kind of United States Senator would Bill Haslam be?
One who would be more comfortable siding with Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) opposing President Trump’s agenda than he would be siding with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) supporting President Trump’s agenda.
In a word, Governor Haslam, like his NFL-franchise-owning, Trump-denouncing brother Jimmy Haslam, would be a “Never-Trumper” in the United States Senate.