U.S. Representative, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey is leaving the Democratic Party to become a Republican, President Donald Trump announced Thursday, confirming during a White House meeting.
Trump introduced Van Drew in an Oval Office meeting that also included Vice President Mike Pence and House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy of California.
“Jeff will be joining the Republican Party,” Trump said. “It’s a very exciting announcement.”
Van Drew said he has always been a moderate, and blasted unnamed Democrats for moving the party too far left.
“I believe that this is just a better fit for me,” he said. “This is who I am.”
Van Drew rattled off a string of issues he said pushed the party away from him, criticizing the Green New Deal proposal and accusing some Democrats of downplaying America’s exceptionalism.
He praised Trump’s record on the economy and pledged loyalty to his new party.
“You have my undying support, always,” Van Drew said. Trump responded, saying: “I’m endorsing him.”
The announcement ended days of political uncertainty for Van Drew, after the revelation last Saturday that he planned to switch parties.