Washington | For US Republicans, the taboo of voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election has been lifted, as party dignitaries reject Donald Trump amid one of the deepest controversies of his troubled campaign.
While the calls to dump Trump have continued since the 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney raised the alarm about the brash billionaire’s candidacy early this year, it is unclear whether the trickle of defections to the Clinton camp will become a flood.
But a nightmare 24-hour period for the embattled Republican nominee he refused to end his public feud with the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier, declined to back House Speaker Paul Ryan’s re-election bid and used crass language while accepting a supporter’s Purple Heart as a gift has laid bare the concerns Republicans have with Trump.
Prominent tech executive Meg Whitman became the latest high-profile conservative to throw her support behind Clinton, as she branded Trump a dishonest demagogue and told the New York Times yesterday that she would make a substantial contribution to Clinton’s campaign.
Whitman, herself a billionaire and leading Republican fundraiser, is chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and used to be CEO of eBay.
She spent some USD 140 million of her own money in an unsuccessful run for California governor in 2010.
Her defection comes amid deep concerns at the top of the Grand Old Party about Trump, after a seemingly never-ending stream of controversies that include the nominee urging Russia last week to meddle in the US election by hacking into Clinton’s emails.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has endorsed Trump, but on Thursday CNN reported Priebus was incredibly upset that the New York real estate mogul refused to endorse Ryan’s congressional re-election campaign.
Whitman joins other key Republicans who have announced their backing for Clinton, the former secretary of state.
Richard Armitage, who served as deputy secretary of state for George W. Bush and deputy secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan, defected in June.
Trump doesn’t appear to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn about issues, Armitage told Politico.
So, I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.
Brent Scowcroft, respected national security advisor to two Republican presidents, endorsed Clinton in June, as did former Republican senator Larry Pressler of South Dakota, who cited Clinton’s support for stricter gun laws.
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