There are some conservatives who just can't. Can't vote for Donald Trump, that is. Now that he's the presumptive Republican nominee, that causes quite a conundrum. Who does one support? The Dems and Hillary Clinton? A third-party candidate? Maybe it's better not to vote at all? For each one it's probably different, but there's one thing that at least 40 prominent conservatives have in common, according to a list Clinton's camp released: They will not be supporting Trump come November. Some conservatives have even said they're with her — Clinton, yes, Hillary Clinton, a Democrat.
None sound particularly pleased about the choice. Clinton isn't winning any popularity contests among this group, but Trump is another level. Maybe it's his anti-Muslim comments, perhaps it's his attacks on women... hell, it could also be the hair. Regardless, Clinton's campaign is looking forward and starting some attacks on Trump now.
Hillary For America released a new advertisement on Twitter Wednesday that features prominent conservatives like Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham, as well as primary competitors from this year, saying what they really think — and it's not pretty. "Bigot," "con artist," and more insults round out the general feeling of discontent.
The comments and Tweets from these former GOP diehards could round out the next version. Not only are they against Trump, they truly believe Clinton is the better candidate.
1) Daily Caller Editor Jamie Weinstein
He wrote a whole opinion piece for the paper explaining his thoughts:
If it’s Trump-Hillary with no serious third party option in the fall, as hard as it is for me to believe I am actually writing these words, there is just no question: I’d take a Tums and cast my ballot for Hillary — and I suspect so would many other life-long conservatives, whether they are willing to admit it now or not.
2) Longtime McCain Adviser Mark Salter:
This guy worked for McCain and was really his right-hand man. He did everything from write speeches to serve as his Senate chief-of-staff. He'd vote Hillary:
The GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level. I’m with her.
3) RedState Editor Ben Howe
This guy has been for Clinton over Trump for the get-go. Back in January he wrote a piece titled, "I will phone bank for Hillary if Trump is nominated." His tweet Wednesday confirms.
4) Billionaire Bush-Backer Mike Fernandez
This guy has a lot of cash down in Florida from his health care businesses. He was a big supporter of Jeb Bush, but now he won't be voting Republican. He told the Miami Herald:
If I have a choice — and you can put it in bold — if I have a choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton, I’m choosing Hillary.
5) Conservative Foreign Policy Expert Max Boot
This guy knows his stuff when it comes to foreign policy. He's one of the most respected conservative voices in the country and is a a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He told Vox:
[Hillary Clinton] would be vastly preferable to Trump... I disagree with Hillary a lot less than I disagree with Donald Trump... I'm frankly terrified at the notion that somebody as bigoted and ignorant as Donald Trump could possibly wind up in command of the most powerful military force in the world.
6) Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman
Todd Whitman served as New Jersey governor from 1994 to 2001; she was also the first woman to give a State of the Union response on her own (responding, of course, to Bill Clinton). Here's what she says about a Trump-Hillary match-up on Bloomberg's With All Due Respect:
While I certainly don't want four more years of another Clinton administration or more years of the Obama administration, I would take that over the kind of damage I think Donald Trump could do to this country, to its reputation, to the people of this country... I will probably vote for her.
7) George Mason Law Professor David Bernstein
Bernstein has a book coming out in November entitled Lawless: The Obama Administration's Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law. And yet he still prefers Clinton to Trump:
I’d rather Hillary Clinton win. I’d rather (and I never thought I’d say this) Barack Obama serve a third term. I’d even rather Bernie Sanders win, though if it came down to Sanders vs. Trump it might be time to form a breakaway republic. If Trump wins the nomination, I will actively seek to prevent him from becoming president.
8) Hypeline News Staff Writer Kyle Foley
One of the younger members of the bunch, Foley writes, has his own Internet show, and is a full-time field director for Turning Point USA, a conservative 501(c)3 run by and for students to recruit conservatives at a young age. Here's what he said:
I’m willing, if need be, to vote Hillary. That’s how strong my disdain is for Trump #NeverTrump
And this is just a list of the #NeverTrump-ers that have explicitly endorsed Hillary. There are more on the list that won't be voting Trump but may go third-party or not vote at all. And if any of you reading this are conservatives, Meghan McCain is watching, folks. You don't want to be on the wrong side of history.