Richard Armitage Becomes Highest Ranking Republican To Break Party Rank

Richard Armitage Becomes Highest Ranking Republican To Break Party Rank
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage speaks during a symposium of the "Charges in Leadership and the Future Course of Japan-US-China Trilateral Relations" in Tokyo Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Add heavyweight, Richard Armitage to the #NeverTrump crew.

Armitage served as assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan, and deputy secretary of state under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He’s the highest ranking national security official to openly express opposition to Donald Trump as the GOP’s nominee.


“If Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton,” Armitage told POLITICO in a brief interview. “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”

Armitage echoes the sentiment of many Trump critics. His inability to just admit that there are huge holes in his knowledge of foreign policy and any level of governing makes sane people nervous. Instead, he chooses to discount any advice or counsel he’s given and plows through and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how moronic it sounds.

Dozens of Republican foreign policy elites have already declared their unwillingness to support or work for Trump, though far fewer say they would cast a ballot for Clinton. The latter group includes Max Boot, a prominent neoconservative military analyst and historian; Mark Salter, former longtime chief of staff to Republican Sen. John McCain; and retired Army Col. Peter Mansour, a former top aide to retired Gen. David Petraeus.

Privately, it’s reported that Armitage and the others are not alone. Trump is a problem and the scramble to distance themselves (and their good names) from this walking gaffe-machine is on. There are reportedly several retired generals and others with conservative leanings who are contemplating just how far to run, and if they should speak openly about their concerns.

Armitage told POLITICO Thursday that he didn’t know whether more Republicans might soon back Clinton. But he added that many of his conservative friends with national security backgrounds “are confused” by the choice before them and unsure about what to do.

“They’re in kind of a fog,” he said.

They’re not alone, Sir. Believe me.

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