Meg Whitman Says She’ll Vote For Hillary Clinton
Meg Whitman, a top Republican donor and fundraiser who ran for Governor of California in 2010, has become the latest Republican to announce she will support Hillary Clinton for President:
Meg Whitman, a Hewlett Packard executive and Republican fund-raiser, said Tuesday that she would support Hillary Clinton for president and give a “substantial” contribution to her campaign in order to stop Donald J. Trump, whom she berated as a threat to American democracy.
“I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her,” Ms. Whitman said in a telephone interview.
She revealed that Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had reached out to her in a phone call about a month ago, one of the first indications that Mrs. Clinton is aggressively courting Republican leaders. While acknowledging she diverged from Mrs. Clinton on many policy issues, Ms. Whitman said it was time for Republicans “to put country first before party.”
Using remarkably blunt language, she argued that the election of Mr. Trump, whom she called “a dishonest demagogue,” could lead the country “on a very dangerous journey.” She noted that democracies had seldom lasted longer than a few hundred years and warned that those who say that “it can’t happen here” are being naïve.
Ms. Whitman also said she “absolutely” stood by her comments at a private gathering of Republican donors this year comparing Mr. Trump to Hitler andMussolini, explaining that dictators often come to office through democratic means.
“Time and again history has shown that when demagogues have gotten power or come close to getting power, it usually does not end well,” Ms. Whitman said. She asserted that Mr. Trump had already “undermined the character of the nation.”
Ms. Whitman was a leading fund-raiser for Mr. Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and was a chairwoman of Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential finance team this year. But after Mr. Christie withdrew from the campaign and endorsed Mr. Trump, Ms. Whitman excoriated the New Jersey governor for what she said was an “astonishing display of political opportunism.”
On Tuesday, Ms. Whitman said she had not spoken to Mr. Christie since he endorsed Mr. Trump, and pointedly noted that she had not changed her view of his decision.
Ms. Whitman, who said she would remain a Republican, brings with her a considerable network of contributors, some of whom she said were open to giving to Mrs. Clinton. She said she was willing to campaign for Mrs. Clinton, said she would do her best to gather checks for her campaign and indicated she would personally give to both Mrs. Clinton and her affiliated “super PACs.” An aide to Ms. Whitman said she would personally give at least an amount in the “mid-six figures” to the Clinton effort.
Whitman is the latest top Republican to not only abandon support of Trump, but to openly come out in support of Hillary Clinton. She joins a group that includes a former top adviser to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and a sitting New York Congressman. Given the chaos that has enveloped the race since the conventions, one suspects she won’t be the last.