The Biggest GOP Names Backing Hillary Clinton—So Far
Some of the GOP’s best brains are now With Her. And, according to a source within the Clinton camp, highlighting Republicans who’ve crossed over will be a key fixture in campaign ads this fall.
The actor who voiced a 1964 ad raising alarm bells about Barry Goldwater says Trump “scares me” in an ad produced by the Clinton campaign.
“Trump says we need unpredictability when it comes to using nuclear weapons, what is that supposed to mean? When a man says that he sounds a lot like a threat to humanity.”
A character actor with a long list of credits (Melrose Place, Knots Landing, M.A.S.H.) William “Bill” Bogert did a remake of the “Confessions of a Republican” ad he made for Lyndon Johnson 52 years ago. Airing during last week’s GOP Convention, it is an open invitation to Republicans queasy about their nominee to come over to the other side and join Hillary Clinton.
There will be a more organized effort after the Democratic Convention, a campaign official told The Daily Beast, but they’re not yet ready to provide details.
It’s not surprising that the list of converts to Clinton leans toward national security types and former Republican Party or Bush officials. Currently elected GOP officials might be willing to say Never Trump, but taking the next step to Clinton is harder.
Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, spoke at a Hillary for America fundraiser this week. He told The Daily Beast, “I didn’t watch one second of the entire (GOP) Convention. I couldn’t bear it. I’m not that much of a glutton for punishment.”
Kagan broke with his party and changed his registration to Independent because of Trump, and not only over foreign policy. “His foreign policy is terrible, but my chief concern is more what he would do here. I fear what he would do to American democracy.” Kagan’s May 18 column about Trump in The Washington Post was titled, “This is how fascism comes to America.”
Unease about Trump has already drawn a number of big names from Republican ranks to support Clinton. As Democrats gather in Philadelphia for their convention, The Daily Beast offers this first definitive list of GOP bigwigs and former GOP officials, business leaders, thinkers and foreign policy analysts, some less well known than others, but indicative of what could be a stampede by November.
Brent Scowcroft, foreign policy adviser to four GOP presidents, said in a statement last month that Clinton “has the wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time.”
Henry Paulson Jr. former treasury secretary under President George W. Bush, said “Enough is enough. It’s time to put country before party and say it together: Never Trump.”
Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state to George W. Bush, told Politico last month, “If Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton.”
Ken Adelman, U.S. Arms Control director under Ronald Reagan, said “Not only am I not voting for Donald Trump, but also I am not voting for any Republican who endorsed or supported Trump.”
Dr. Patrick Cronin, senior official at USAID during the W. Bush administration, who said, “Only one candidate has thought through America’s challenges… and is ready to be president, and I intend to vote for her—Hillary Clinton.”
Philip Levy, member of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors, said, “Never Trump and I meant it. If Secretary Clinton is the only viable alternative, I would expect to support her.”
Tony Fratto, W. Bush administration deputy press secretary, said, “I’d prefer to have Hillary Clinton in the White House than Donald Trump.”
Kori Schake, former George W. Bush National Security official, said she is voting for @HillaryClinton.
Jim Cicconi, former White House staffer under Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush, said in a statement, “Hillary Clinton is experienced, qualified, and will make a fine president. The alternative, I fear, would set our nation on a very dark path.”
Alan Steinberg, Bush administration regional EPA administrator, who worked with Clinton when she was New York senator, is voting for her and said, “She can work with people on the opposite side of the political aisle.”
Doug Elmets, former Reagan White House staffer, who worked with conservative icons Lee Atwater and Ed Rollins, said, “I can live with four years of Hillary Clinton before I could ever live with one day of Donald Trump as president.” This will be his first vote ever for a Democrat.
Max Boot, author and military historian, told Vox last month, “I am literally losing sleep over Donald Trump.” A lifelong Republican, he said he would vote for Hillary Clinton.
Retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor, former aide to David Petraeus, now a professor of military history at Ohio State University, told The Washington Post he thinks Trump is too dangerous to be president, and that Clinton will be “the first Democratic presidential candidate I’ve voted for in my adult life.”
Tom Nichols, Military College Professor and former GOP congressional staffer, @RadioFreeTom calls Clinton “a far more plausible Commander in Chief. And that’s all that matters now.”
Marc Andreesen, Silicon Valley venture capitalist and former Romney donor, said the idea of cutting off the flow of immigrants “makes me sick,” tweeting “#imwithher.”
Dan Akerson former General Motors CEO, says Clinton has “the experience and judgment to serve as an effective Commander in chief. In this election, I will cast my ballot for Secretary Clinton.”
Hamid Moghadam, Prologis CEO and immigrant from post-revolutionary Iran, says America is about tolerance and inclusion “and that’s why, as a lifelong Republican supporter, I endorse Hillary Clinton for president in this election.”
Douglas Brand, professor of political science at the College of the Holy Cross, wrote in Fortune Magazine, “To support Trump, we must sacrifice our principles and reconcile our minds to his. Better we should follow Hamilton’s example and support an opposing party whose principles we reject—and remain a principles party of opposition.”
Michael Vlock, Connecticut investor who has given nearly $5 million to Republicans in last two years, told The New York Times he won’t donate to Trump because “he is too selfish, flawed and unpredictable to hold the power of the presidency.”
William Oberndorf, California-based investor, who gave $3 million to Republicans in the last four years, told The New York Times that Trump is so unacceptable that he would vote for Clinton.
Mike Fernandez, a healthcare magnate and one of Jeb Bush’s billionaires in Florida, told the Miami Herald if the choice is between Trump and Clinton, “I’m choosing Hillary.”
Robert Smith, conservative former New York Supreme Court judge (and father of BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith), says he’s voting for a Democrat for president. He said it’s “the first time I’ve done it in 36 years, and I think the decision is easy. Hillary Clinton is the only responsible choice.”
Dan Webb, former U.S. attorney, told The Chicago Sun-Times that Trump is “not fit to be president” and he thinks “a huge volume of Republicans” are saying the same thing. He urged them to “get off the sidelines, give Hillary some money and support her because we can’t afford to let him become president.”
Larry Pressler, former South Dakota Republican senator, endorsed Clinton after the mass shooting in Orlando, citing her support for gun safety measures. “If someone had told me 10 years ago I would do this, I wouldn’t have believed them,” he told The Hill last month.
Arne Carlson, former Minnesota Republican governor, worked with Clinton when she was first lady and praised her for doing “something first ladies since Eleanor Roosevelt haven’t done. And that was engage in public policy… She really drove the healthcare debate, and that was the first concerted effort to demonize her, orchestrated by the insurance companies.”
Mark Salter, former top adviser to Sen. John McCain, told Real Clear Politics that Trump “possesses the emotional maturity of a 6-year-old,” and that he “views the powers of the presidency as weapons to punish people who’ve been mean to him—reporters, rival candidates, critics.”
Jamie Weinstein, Daily Caller editor, said in early May that if it’s Trump-Hillary with no serious third-party option, “there is just no question: I’d take a Tums and cast my ballot for Hillary.”
Mike Treiser, former Romney staffer, wrote on Facebook in early May, “In the face of bigotry, hatred, violence, and small-mindedness, this time, I’m with her.”
Evan Siegfried, Republican strategist, told the New York Daily News in early May, “I’m voting for GOP candidates in other races. But for the good of the country, I must do the unthinkable and say, I’m with her.”
Mark Lenzi, former spokesman for the New Hampshire GOP, told Manchester television station WMUR that he “wrestled with the decision for a long time” but as a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar on NATO, he finds Trump’s views toward Europe and our NATO allies dangerous. “There is a palpable fear in these countries about him becoming president.”
Craig Snyder, Republican lobbyist with Ikon Public Affairs, wrote in an email to fellow former staffers of the late Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, “I’ve been a Republican since high school and certainly never thought I would take any sort of public role in a Democratic presidential campaign, but I never imagined Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.”