Former US president George H.W. Bush has said he’ll cast his November vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, according to Politico. If he does, Bush will join several other high-profile GOP defections this year.
Politico got the tip from Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, who posted a photo of herself with the former president on Facebook Sept. 19, with this caption: “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”
Politico called Townsend, who confirmed “that’s what he said.” Bush did not confirm or deny the report. His spokesman said: “The vote President Bush will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in some 50 days. He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.”
Bush is both a Republican party stalwart and a well-respected former president. Hillary’s husband Bill defeated Bush in a bruising presidential election in 1992.
Other big name Republicans have come out against Trump. Former defense secretary Robert Gates said Trump is “beyond repair” on national security. Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, told the Wall Street Journal (paywall):
“I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
The rumor should not be too much of a shock for those who follow Bush family politics. While George W. Bush, also a former president, has said he would not comment on the election, his mother and former first lady Barbara Bush has already suggested she would not vote for Trump. “I mean, unbelievable. I don’t know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly, it’s terrible,” she told CBS in February. Another Bush son, Jeb, was trounced by Trump in the Republican primary, during which Trump blamed the terror attacks of Sept. 11 on George W. Bush.
Despite high-profile defections, or maybe in part because of them, Trump is doing well in the polls. According to a range of polls at RealClearPolitics, the best for Clinton has her up four points, while the best for Trump gives him a seven-point advantage.