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News > World

Lesser Evil? Key Bush-Era Officials Back Clinton for President

  • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President George W. Bush  at Nancy Reagan's funeral.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President George W. Bush at Nancy Reagan's funeral. | Photo: Twitter / @DavidChalian

Published 26 June 2016

The prominent politicians, who served under controversial Bush governments, support Hillary Clinton for her military policies and out of fear of Donald Trump.

At least two senior Republican officials who served under former U.S. President George W. Bush, and another who served on the cabinet of the first Bush administration, have expressed their support for Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton this week over her policies on military and security as well as fears of a Donald Trump presidency.

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One of Clinton’s most notable Republican endorsements came from veteran politician Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser to former presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. He also served as informal advisor to President George W. Bush.

His reason behind supporting the former U.S. secretary of state was that he "appreciates" the importance of maintaining a "strong military advantage" while still retaining force "as a last resort," he said in a statement Thursday. Scowcroft is often called the “realist Republican” because of his limited criticism of the Iraq war and his support for the Iran deal.

Meanwhile, in a column for The Washington Post newspaper Friday, Hank Paulson, who was treasury secretary in the Bush administration, slammed the Republican presumptive nominee Trump and declared himself a #NeverTrump backer.

"With Donald Trump as the presumptive presidential nominee, we are witnessing a populist hijacking of one of the United States' great political parties," Paulson said, adding that he would be "voting for Hillary Clinton, with the hope that she can bring Americans together to do the things necessary to strengthen our economy, our environment and our place in the world."

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Before becoming the U.S.’s top financial official in 2006 under bush, Paulson served as the CEO of Goldman Sachs and some accused him of having a conflict of interest over his economic plan for the 2008 economic crisis, which resulted in the bank receiving billions in bailout money from the U.S. government.

Another prominent Republican figure that has lent support to Clinton is Richard Armitage, who was deputy secretary of state under President Bush. He told Politico last week that "if Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton."

He added that the real estate billionaire “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."

In 1998 Armitage, who served in the U.S. navy before entering politics, signed a letter to former U.S. President Bill Clinton calling for an intervention in Iraq and the removal of former President Saddam Hussein and his government.

Also, former Pakistani President Musharraf claimed that shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Armitage threatened that the U.S. would bomb Pakistan "back to the Stone Age" if he was to refuse Washington’s demands for assistance in the campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban. Armitage denies having used those words.

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One of the main drivers behind this unconventional support for a Democrat from big name Republicans is the utter dislike of Trump, who has alienated many Republican foreign policy experts with his criticism of NATO, his embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his rhetoric around protectionist policies.

Many party members also accuse Trump of being loose on Republican ideals and espousing relatively liberal-leaning views in the past on issues like abortion, gay marriage, planned parenthood and religion.

Asa result, Trump’s campaign is facing major financial crisis as electoral documents show that he has raised just US$3 million in individual contributions in May and had a war chest of only US$1 million at the end of the month. Meanwhile, Clinton has raised US$26 million and ended May with a war chest of US$42 million.

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