By Robert Mann
Among my Democratic friends, almost none of them are conflicted about voting for Hillary Clinton for president. Even those who aren’t enamored of the former secretary of state are terrified of Donald Trump. For these friends, the specter of a Trump White House is a disaster too horrible to comprehend.
Some of my Republican friends, however, are quite conflicted. They don’t want to vote for Clinton but they are even more troubled by the thought of casting a vote for Trump. As more one has told me, in essence, “I just don’t know what I’ll do.”
My advice to these conflicted Republicans? Don’t listen to me. Consider what other Republicans have said this year about the current GOP nominee. They include:
Former Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee: “I am far from the first to conclude that Donald Trump lacks the temperament of be president,” Romney said. “After all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: “This man is a pathological liar,” Cruz said. “He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.” Trump, he said, is “utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: “Always beware of the candidate for public office who has the quick and easy answer to a complicated problem,” Christie said, attacking Trump for acting like a “13-year-old” when he threatened to boycott a Fox News debate. “What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Go upstairs to the residence and say ‘I’m not playing’?”
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse: After Trump said that California U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel — an Indiana native of Mexican descent — could not preside over a federal lawsuit against Trump University because of his Mexican heritage, Sasse tweeted: “Saying someone can’t do a specific job because of his or her race is the literal definition of ‘racism.’”
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee: After the Washington Post released an “Access Hollywood” video in October in which Trump made lewd comments about women and bragged about committing sexual assault, McCain said in a statement, “There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.” McCain withdrew his endorsement of Trump.
Conservative columnist George Will: “If Trump wins, the GOP ends as a vehicle for conservatism.”
Conservative columnist and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer (who is also a board-certified psychiatrist): “I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied.”
Enough about Trump. What have prominent Republicans said about Clinton? Turns out, when she’s not running for president, many of them love her.
Sen. John McCain in 2013: “Secretary Clinton is admired and respected around the world. She and I have been friends for many years. We used to travel together… So, I have – I admire the fact that she is admired throughout the world and a very effective Secretary of State.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in 2012: “She’s dedicated to her job. She loves her country. . . .[She is] one of the most effective secretary of states, greatest ambassadors for the American people that I have known in my lifetime.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush presented Clinton with the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal, praising her for having “dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy.”
Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush has said he will vote for Clinton.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2010: “Hillary Clinton is someone I’ve known for a long, long time. She’s a patriot. I think she’s doing a lot of the right things. . . . I think she’s doing a fine job. I really do.”
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2010: “I think she’s done a good job for the . . . secretary of state’s position, and I have high respect for her and think a great deal of her.”
Don’t believe those Republicans’ assessment of Clinton? Well, there is one more you might find persuasive. In a 2008 radio commentary, weeks before Barack Obama wrapped up the Democratic Party nomination, this prominent Republican said: “I know her and she’d make a good president or good vice president.”
That radio commentator? Donald Trump.