A group supporting the Joe Biden presidential campaign released a second list Tuesday of 291 former generals, admirals, senior enlisted and national security officials backing the former vice president, for a total of 780 in the battle of endorsements with the Trump campaign.
The new list includes the names of 81 retired military leaders, bringing the total number of former senior military members backing Biden to 284. That tops the list of 235 former military leaders backing President Donald Trump, which was put out by the Trump campaign last month.
The latest list of Biden supporters includes former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and an Army Vietnam veteran, and retired Army Lt. Col. Alfred "Doc" Rascon, a Medal of Honor recipient.
Rascon, born in Chihuahua, Mexico, received the nation's highest award for valor for his actions as an enlisted combat medic with the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam in 1965. He was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1967.
In a statement supporting Biden, Rascon charged that Trump has exploited divisions in the nation to the detriment of national security and used service members as "props" for political gain.
"Joe Biden has the wisdom and decency needed to heal a fractured nation, so we enthusiastically support him," Rascon said.
The list of supporters, published by the group National Security Leaders for Biden, includes Michelle Flournoy, the former under secretary of defense for policy who is considered a possible nominee for defense secretary in a Biden administration, and former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Rice, who also served as White House national security adviser during the Obama administration, remains a lightning rod for Trump supporters in the controversy over the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
In an open letter supporting Biden, the signees from the new list state, "The next president will inherit a nation -- and a world -- in turmoil. The current president has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office; he cannot rise to meet challenges large or small.
"Joe Biden has the character, principles, wisdom, and leadership necessary to address a world on fire," the letter adds.
The open letter and the entire list of 780 former national security officials supporting Biden can be seen here.
National Security Leaders for Biden began issuing lists of former national security officials supporting the former vice president after the Trump campaign put out a list Sept. 14 of 235 retired senior military leaders supporting the president's re-election. That list can be seen here.
In an open letter accompanying Trump's list, the retired military leaders wrote, "Joe Biden's record on the military and veterans is one of failure: debilitating budget cuts, failed foreign policy decisions, and an inability to provide our nation's heroes with the quality health care they deserve."
National Security Leaders for Biden followed that up with a Sept. 24 release of a list of 489 former national security officials, including 22 retired four-star generals and admirals and five former defense secretaries supporting Biden.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.