The former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania has urged undecided voters to join him in voting for Democratic nominee Joe Biden to become president.
In a tweet posted late Monday night, Tom Ridge shared a recent op-ed he wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he explained why he would be casting his ballot for a Democratic nominee for president for the first time.
Alongside a link to the article, he wrote: "Should there still be a few of you undecideds out there - especially in Pennsylvania - I respectfully share my rationale why I'm supporting @JoeBiden. I hope you'll join me."
Ridge, who served two terms as Pennsylvania's governor from 1995 to 2001, added: "Either way, vote. And be patient while ballots are counted."
Should there still be a few of you undecideds out there - especially in Pennsylvania - I respectfully share my rationale why Iâm supporting @JoeBiden. I hope youâll join me. Either way, vote. And be patient while ballots are counted. https://t.co/rM9MnwjZhr— Gov. Tom Ridge (@GovRidge) November 3, 2020
In his September op-ed, Ridge compared President Donald Trump's response to the current coronavirus pandemic to President George W. Bush's unifying behavior in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks. Ridge was the first homeland security secretary during Bush's administration, serving in the role until 2005.
The 75-year-old noted that while there have been similarities to the nation's response to both crises, they "do not include presidential leadership."
"Donald Trump has proven over these last four years he is incapable of such leadership," Ridge wrote. "It is not within him. He lacks the empathy, integrity, intellect, and maturity to lead. He sows division along political, racial, and religious lines.
"And he routinely dismisses the opinions of experts who know far more about the subject at hand than he does—intelligence, military, and public health."
He added the U.S. has "paid dearly in lives lost, social unrest, economic hardship, and our standing in the world."
Ridge said he believes Biden "absolutely must be America's next president," explaining that the former VP has "the experience and empathy necessary to help us navigate not only the pandemic but also other issues that have fractured our nation, including social injustice, income inequality, and immigration reform."
Ridge also noted that voters in Pennsylvania, as well as those in other battleground states, are likely to ultimately determine the winner of the 2020 election—and slammed Trump for sowing doubt about the integrity of the election process.
"We are in the midst of a health crisis, when we should be doing all we can to help citizens vote safely, yet he continues to cast doubt on the sanctity of the vote. He's done so multiple times here in Pennsylvania. It's deplorable, yet utterly consistent with past reprehensible behavior," Ridge wrote.
Pennsylvania has emerged as the top battleground state in the 2020 election, with polls showing Biden ahead.
Both campaigns view the state as the one that could tip them over the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House, with both Trump and Biden making a final push in the state in the closing days of their campaigns in a bid to secure the state's 20 electoral votes.
While campaigning in Biden's native Scranton on Monday, Trump targeted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat. "Make sure your governor doesn't cheat, because they are known for very bad things here," Trump said, without elaborating. "We have a lot of eyes on the governor and his friends," Trump added.
On Twitter, Wolf responded: "Pennsylvanians will not be intimidated. You can watch us count every vote and have a fair election."
In his op-ed, Ridge capped his appeal to voters by writing that "so much is at stake."
"This year, I believe the responsible vote is for Joe Biden," he added. "It's a vote for decency. A vote for the rule of law. And a vote for honest and earnest leadership. It's time to put country over party. It's time to dismiss Donald Trump."