A new group designed to accommodate Republicans who are breaking their Republican bonds to support Hillary Clinton for president, Together for America, hosted a conference call Thursday to discuss the impact of the first presidential debate between Mrs. Clinton and her Republican opponent, Donald John Trump.
With fewer than 40 days left until Election Day arrives on Nov. 8, more and more Republicans and independents upset and turned off by Mr. Trump’s misogynistic, racist persona are rallying behind the Democratic.
One day after former Republican Armed Services Chairman, Virginia Senator John Warner, said he is supporting Clinton-Kaine, Hillary for America Chairman John Podesta introduced a lineup of long-time, loyal Republicans, including former George W. Bush Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Former Republican Congresswoman Claudine Schneider who served during President Reagan’s term, former Secretary of the Air Force Mike Donley and former Deputy Chief of Staff for President George H. W. Bush Jim Cicconi, who each explained why they are divorcing the Donald for Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Podesta repeated Clinton-Kaine campaign talking points about Donald Trump, that he’s unprepared with nothing to offer, lacks knowledge, and has values and a temperament unfit to be president.
Carlos Gutierrez, Commerce Secretary for GW Bush [2005-2009], told reporters on the call that Donald Trump’s economic concepts are alarmingly simplistic, and that his stance on trade will lead to a worldwide trade war.
Mike Donley, Secretary of the Air Force (2008-2013), said he’s publicly endorsing a candidate for the first time. A Republican, Mr. Donley said he’s proud and eager to endorse Mrs. Clinton based on his determination that she’s the best qualified and prepared to be commander in chief, while Mr. Trump lacks basic qualifications, has a shallow understanding of public policy and global issues.
Jim Cicconi, Chief of Staff for President George H. W. Bush (1989-1991), said the debate crystallized for him that Donald Trump is dangerously unsuited for president. After spending six years working in two White House administrations [Reagan and Bush], Mr. Cicconi said the president is entrusted with enormous powers. He called Donald Trump the least qualified, intelligent or stable person to aspire to the Oval Office. “He [Trump] should not be entrusted with real powers,” he said, adding that the choice between the candidates is clear and stark.
Former Congresswoman Claudine Schneider (1981-1991) said she’s been a Republican all her adult life, as she called Hillary Clinton’s first debate performance a huge success. In politics, she said, “talk is cheap and what counts is action,” something she said Mrs. Clinton has dedicated her life in public service to. Trump, on the other hand she said, only likes to talk about problems but has a track record of doing nothing and having no proposals for the future to solve those problems. She cited 65 policy fact sheets for Hillary Clinton versus just seven for Donald Trump. His comments about women, she said, is very offensive, especially since her gender represents half the nation’s population. “That’s unthinkable” for a president, she added.
When a Wall Street Journal reporter asked a question about why voters are rallying behind Donald Trump when GOP leaders on the call are switching sides to endorse Hillary Clinton, Mr. Guttierez and Mrs. Schneider offered reasons for Trump’s popularity.
The former said Trump offers promises of simplistic answers, “that’s how populism works,” he said, adding that a “little TV experience” combined with talking a good talk is sheer populism. Although he said he understands what the polls are saying, he added, all the Republicans he knows are “absolutely frustrated and disappointed” with a candidacy they see as repugnant.
The latter said Donald Trump is attracting Republicans who have not voted before. “There is a very low level of civic understanding” among them she said, commenting that nine out of ten don’t know who their congressman is,” a state of awareness she said is very sad, due in large part to distrust of today’s media and people’s not knowing basic civics to “to understand the roll of individuals and the difference between the parties.”