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Former Sen. John Warner endorses Joe Biden

Former Sen. John Warner endorses Joe Biden

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Former U.S. Sen. John Warner, a five-term Virginia Republican who has increasingly broken with his party as it moves further right, is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump, declaring that the Democrat is "thoroughly tested."

Warner's endorsement - coming two days before the Super Tuesday primaries in Virginia and 13 other states - could spur other centrist Republicans to the polls, though the former senator said it would be "overload" for him to vote in the Democratic contest.

"To win nationally, he has got to bring abroad a lot of moderates and moderate Republicans," Warner said of Biden.

Warner, who served in the Senate from 1979 to 2009, supported Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016 and has backed other Democrats in Virginia, including U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, who is not related to the Republican and is running for a third term this year to what had been John Warner's seat.

John Warner said he favored Biden, with whom the Virginian served in the Senate, because of his experience in foreign policy, "adherence to the constitution" and commitment to family as a cornerstone of American society.

"We're going from an untested president to a thoroughly tested president," Warner said Sunday. "We're not taking a gamble as we did with Trump."

Asked if Republicans would dismiss his endorsement of Biden as yet another sign he is no longer one of them, Warner said, "Let 'em say it."

jschapiro@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6814

Twitter: @RTDSchapiro

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