All of the Top Republicans Voting for Hillary Clinton Instead of Donald Trump
Team Clinton has gained some prominent—and unlikely—backers in this wild election. While a growing number of big-name Republicans have refused to support Trump, many have also taken the additional step of pledging to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton instead.
Here’s a list of top Republican politicians, operatives, and prominent supporters who openly back Clinton for president and when they went "with her."
Rosario Marín, former U.S. Treasurer under President George W. Bush, has refused to support Trump due to the candidate’s controversial comments about immigrants.“I have been a loyal, trusted and fiery fighter for every Republican presidential candidate,” Marín wrote in an op-ed for Univision published August 17. “I have been a delegate to the previous five Republican conventions. But since July 2015, when a certain candidate, upon entering the political arena, showed his contempt for Mexican immigrants by stating they were drug dealers, rapists and murderers, I have voiced my disgust and have warned one and all of the perilous threat he was to our party, our nation and the world.” Marín concluded, “My party and its standard bearer leave me no choice; on November 8, I will vote for Hillary Clinton.”
The Clinton campaign announced a group of endorsements by prominent Republicans on August 10. The announcement included Carlos Gutierrez, a former commerce secretary under George W. Bush; former national director of intelligence John Negroponte; former Maryland Rep. Connie Morella; and former Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays.
Shays wrote in an op-ed for CNN, "Donald Trump lost me a long time ago." Shays added, "Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president, will be getting my vote, not reluctantly, but with a strong conviction that she will be a good president."
Also listed on the Clinton campaign's website as supporting the Democratic presidential nominee: Ruben Alvarez, former policy adviser to GOP Gov. Jane Hull of Arizona; Ambassador Robert Blackwill, who advised Bush 41 and 43 on national security; Ohio businessman and longtime Republican Merom Brachman; Former Minnesota Senator David Durenberger; Scott Evertz, appointed by George W. Bush as the first openly gay director of the Office of National AIDS Policy; VSCO CEO Joel Flory; former IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg; former Florida regional Deputy Attorney General Cindy Guerra; former Rudy Giuliani press secretary Matt Higgins; former U.S. Trade Representative Cara Hills; Ambassador Richard Holwill, who served under the Reagan administration; Maine Senator Angus King; James Kunder, former USAID official under George W. Bush; Jennifer Pierotti Lim, Director of Health Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of Republican Women for Hillary; William Sanchez, a former senior counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice; Timothy P. Stratford, former assistant U.S. Trade Representative for China; Shirin Tahir-Kheli, former special assistant to President George W. Bush; Ambassador Pete Teeley, who served under George H.W. Bush; Daniel Twining, former staffer to President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain; and Matthew Waxman, former NSC official under George W. Bush.
David Nierenberg, a former national finance chair for Mitt Romney, endorsed Clinton on Aug. 19. “I have decided to endorse and support Hillary Clinton for president, even though everybody else I will vote for this November will be a real Republican,” Nierenberg wrote in an op-ed on CNBC.
Major Republican donor and Hollywood mogul Harry Sloan said in a statement that Trump “does not embody the values that have made me a lifelong Republican.” The former MGM CEO added, "As a businessman, a father, and a conservative it is clear to me that Hillary Clinton is the right choice in this election."
Two former Republican heads of the Environmental Protection Agency say Trump has “a profound ignorance of science.” William D. Ruckelshaus (who served under Nixon) and William K. Reilly (George H.W. Bush administration) publicly endorsed Clinton on August 9.
Reagan’s former White House political director, Frank Lavin, criticized the mogul and declared his vote would go to Clinton in an op-ed for CNN. Lavin hit Trump for his business record as well as temperament: “The bankruptcies reflect a man who either lacks reasonable business judgment or reasonable business ethics.”
Lezlee Westine, former White House aide to George W. Bush, issued a statement of her support for Clinton but did not specify why she opposes Trump. She did, however, praise Clinton for being able to provide “steady and experienced leadership.”
Former Michigan Governor William Milliken said Trump does not reflect the “ideals” of “tolerance, civility and equality,” and added that he would be supporting Clinton for the presidency.
New York Rep. Richard Hanna was the first Republican in Congress to openly support Clinton, as reported by The Washington Post. In an op-ed by Hanna published on August 2, the Congressman rebuked Trump for both his personality and talking points that alienate minority groups. “I found him profoundly offensive and narcissistic but as much as anything, a world-class panderer, anything but a leader,” wrote Hanna, who is retiring at the end of his term.
Meg Whitman, former CEO of HP and former California gubernatorial candidate, said she will vote and try to raise money for Clinton. Whitman called Trump “a dishonest demagogue” in an interview with The New York Times.
Sally Bradshaw, Jeb Bush’s top adviser not only pledged to vote for Clinton if the race in Florida is close, the longtime Republican has also left the Republican party and now identifies as an independent. Bradshaw told CNN that the GOP is "at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist — a misogynist — a bigot.”
Maria Comella, former spokeswoman for Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani, said Trump is “playing on people's anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric.” Comella’s support for Clinton is somewhat ironic, since her former bosses — Christie and Giuliani — are two of Trump’s biggest supporters.
Charles Fried, former U.S. solicitor general under Reagan, is voting for the Democratic presidential nominee for the third consecutive time. “It is to [Mitt] Romney's credit that this year, like John Paulson and George Will, he is standing up against the brutal, substantively incoherent, and authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump,” the current Harvard Law professor said.
Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and former aide to David Petraeus, thinks that a president Trump could endanger America’s national security. “[Clinton] will be the first Democratic presidential candidate I’ve voted for in my adult life,” Mansoor told The Washington Post.
Larry Pressler, former South Dakota Republican senator, came out in support of Clinton after the mass shooting in Orlando. Pressler accused Trump and the Republican Party of obstructing much-needed gun reform, and said he supported Clinton’s gun safety proposals. “If someone had told me 10 years ago I would do this, I wouldn’t have believed them,” the three-term senator told The Hill.
Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen seemed to criticize Trump’s anti-immigration proposals and openly backed Clinton at a technology conference in San Francisco. “[Silicon] Valley wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be doing any of this if we didn't have the amazing flow of immigrants that we've had in the last 80 years. And the idea of choking that off just makes me sick to my stomach," Andreessen said.
Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state to George W. Bush, is one of the highest-ranking former national security officials to support Clinton. “He doesn't appear to be a Republican, he doesn't appear to want to learn about issues,” the retired Navy officer told Politico. “So, I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.”
Former Minnesota Republican governor Arne Carlson raised his issues with Trump in an interview with City Pages in June. “Donald Trump has taken campaigning to a new low,” Carlson said, citing incidents when Trump mocked a disabled reporter and insulted John McCain over his war record. Carlson later expanded his support for Clinton in an interview with a local television station, citing her willingness to work with others.
Brent Scowcroft, a national security adviser who served under four Republican presidents, is one of the most prominent Republicans to ditch Trump. "The presidency requires the judgment and knowledge to make tough calls under pressure,’ Scowcroft said in a statement. Clinton “has the wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time."
Hamid Moghadam, CEO of Prologis and an Iranian immigrant, said in a statement, "Our country is about tolerance and inclusion and that's why, as a lifelong Republican supporter, I endorse Hillary Clinton for president in this election."
Dan Akerson is a former chairman and CEO of General Motors. “Serving as the leader of the free world requires effective leadership, sound judgment, a steady hand and most importantly, the temperament to deal with crises large and small. Donald Trump lacks each of these characteristics. Hillary Clinton has the experience and judgment to serve as an effective Commander in Chief,” the former Navy officer said.
Jim Cicconi, former aide to Reagan and George H.W. Bush, warned that a Trump presidency “would set our nation on a very dark path.” Cicconi, currently senior executive vice president at AT&T, added, "Hillary Clinton is experienced, qualified and will make a fine president.”
Henry Paulson, former treasury secretary for President George W. Bush, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that Trump represents “a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism.” Paulson added, “When it comes to the presidency, I will not vote for Donald Trump. I will not cast a write-in vote. I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton.”
Kori Schake, former George W. Bush national security official, told Politico that Trump’s comments about women and minorities are “unconscionable.” Schake’s sister, Kristina, is deputy communications director for Hillary Clinton. "For the first time ever @KoriSchake and I are casting our vote for the same candidate -- She is voting for @HillaryClinton," Kristina Schake tweeted.
Former top adviser to John McCain, Mark Salter, wrote in an op-ed for RealClear Politics that Clinton is the lesser of two evils. “He possesses the emotional maturity of a 6-year-old,” Salter wrote of Trump. Salter then went on to describe Clinton as, "an adult," who, "understands the responsibilities of an American president."
Tony Fratto, a former deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush, told The Hill that Trump “is not fit for office.” The former Republican aide added, “If I was the last vote, if my vote was going to make a difference, I’d prefer to have Hillary Clinton in the White House than Donald Trump.”
Mike Treiser, who worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, backed Clinton with a statement on Facebook: “In the face of bigotry, hatred, violence, and small-mindedness, this time, I’m with her.”
Alan Steinberg, regional EPA administrator during the George W. Bush administration, worked with Clinton when she was New York senator. Steinberg backed hardline conservative Ted Cruz in the primaries but now says he will vote for Clinton. "She can work with people on the opposite side of the political aisle," he said.
Lobbyist Craig Snyder is parting ways with his former colleagues, ex-Trump adviser Roger Stone and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Snyder, former chief of staff to then-senator Arlen Specter, said Trump is unfit to be president. He has founded the group Republicans for Hillary 2016.
William Oberndorf, a California-based investor and major Republican donor, told The New York Times that he supports Clinton because he thinks Trump is an unacceptable candidate. Oberndorf has given over $3 million to Republicans since 2012.
Doug Elmets, former spokesman for Reagan told CNN in May, "I'll vote for my first Democrat when the ballots come out in November. I could live with four years of Hillary Clinton before I could ever live with one day of Donald Trump as president." Elmets later spoke in support of Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.
More than one hundred foreign policy operatives signed an open letter declaring that Trump’s national security proposals would “make America less safe.” Some of the letter’s signatories have taken the additional step of openly supporting Clinton:
Dr. Patrick Cronin, a senior official at USAID during the Bush administration told The Daily Beast in June, “Only one candidate has thought through America’s challenges, understands policy, has a positive and inclusive vision, is smart about the world in which we live, and is ready to be president, and I intend to vote for her—Hillary Clinton."
Ken Adelman, U.S. arms control director under Reagan told The Daily Beast, "Yes, I will vote for Clinton, simply because to not vote, or to vote Libertarian, would be a half-vote for Trump."
And Max Boot, an adviser to GOP presidential candidates and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "I'm a registered Republican and I'm voting for Hillary primarily on foreign policy grounds because that's the most important area for any president, the one where the commander-in-chief has the greatest discretion," Boot told The Daily Beast. He added that while he disagrees with Clinton "on a number of issues," he could "sleep at night if she takes command of the nuclear arsenal."
Robert Kagan, a former State Department official under the Reagan administration, has criticized Trump repeatedly in op-eds for The Washington Post. “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton,” Kagan wrote.
Billionaire Mike Fernandez, who has given $4 million to Republican candidates in recent elections, backed Clinton after his preferred candidate Jeb Bush dropped out of the race. “I’m choosing Hillary. She’s the lesser of two evils," he said.