This former President Ronald Reagan and President George W. Bush appointee is highest-ranking Republican to break ranks and head toward for Hillary Clinton’s Democratic camp, to date. Former secretary of state under Bush, the heavily decorated Richard Armitage is throwing Republican Donald Trump under the bus.
Now that Armitage has crossed the bridge to Clinton, it will become much easier for other Republicans to join the gold rush toward the former New York senator. None of the Bushes has endorsed Trump, rather, they have made a point of telling people they will not endorse him.
Trump blames the Bush family’s ill feelings about Jeb Bush on the younger Bush’s doomed run for president. But it is more likely that they simply cannot stomach Trump.
Armitage is a retired Naval officer who served as assistant secretary of defense under Reagan. He spoke to POLITICO briefly:
‘If Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton. He doesn’t appear to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn about issues. So, I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.’
Another retired general, who served in President Barack Obama’s administration in a senior commander role, said that former generals are leery of politics, but some of them:
‘….probably will try to energize something.’
When Armitage spoke to POLITICO, he didn’t have a feel for whether other Republicans will join Clinton, but many of his conservative friends with national security clearance “are confused” by their choices and uncertain how to proceed:
‘They’re in kind of a fog.’
Apparently a number of retired generals, even those with strong Republican ties, are alarmed over Trump’s rise in the party. They are actually considering whether to speak publicly.
You’ll remember Armitage as the one who revealed the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plume, after her husband Joe Wilson, a government consultant, challenged Bush’s claim about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.
He not only outed her, he did it to the columnist Robert Novak, who wasted no time putting words to his computer. Armitage said doing this was “foolish” and not intentional, but that is a little hard to believe. He was never charged, although his act jeopardized countless undercover operatives, Plume managed.
Regardless, this Republican endorsement is one that Clinton can hold high as she marches forward toward the White House.
Featured Image: Department of State.