Former Secretary of Defense and Republican Senator Bill Cohen announced Wednesday he is endorsing Joe Biden in the 2020 election for president of the United States.
Cohen, a native of Bangor, represented Maine as a Republican in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for more than three decades. He then served as U.S. Secretary of Defense from 1997 to 2001 under Democratic president Bill Clinton.
“We have a choice in November; whether to go back to our dark past or reach for who we aspire to be -- a country where it doesn't matter where you came from, how you worship or who you love, a country where everyone matters. I'm voting for Joe Biden because our democracy is at stake. Americans are suffering through the worst pandemic in a hundred years, a pandemic predicted to kill close to 200,000 Americans by election day due to poor management and failed leadership," Cohen said in a statement released by the Biden campaign. "Our nation has been shaken to the core during the last four years. We are in serious need of a leader with optimism and competence who gives us hope. Joe Biden is that leader.”
Cohen has been critical of President Donald Trump in the past. In a July interview with NEWS CENTER Maine, Cohen said of Trump, "He doesn't feel there's any law that applies to him" and "Everyone is subject to the rule of law. The president occupies a unique position in our society but he is not above the law."
"I felt that he was not fit to be commander in chief based on the actions I saw him take," Cohen told NEWS CENTER Maine in July. "The way he denigrated John McCain, the way he mocked a handicap reporter, the way he mocked a Gold Star family. Things that I had read about and seen made me very weary of him serving in that capacity and I think ever since he's been president I've had those concerns validated in my own mind that he doesn't feel there's any law that applies to him."
Cohen served alongside Biden in the Senate from 1979 - 1997, with Cohen representing Maine and Biden representing Delaware.