- The Washington Times - Monday, August 8, 2016

A former political director for late President Ronald Reagan and longtime Republican operative has come out in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, saying she “comes closer to Republican views” than the party’s nominee, Donald Trump.

Frank Lavin, who has served in “every Republican administration over the past 40 years,” wrote an op-ed for CNN Monday arguing that while it’s not entirely clear Mrs. Clinton deserves to win the White House, “it is thunderingly clear that Donald Trump deserves to lose.”

“From this premise, I will do something that I have not done in 40 years of voting: I will vote for the Democratic nominee for president,” he wrote. “The depressing truth of the Republican nominee is that Donald Trump talks a great game but he is the emperor who wears no clothes.

Trump falls short in terms of the character and behavior needed to perform as president,” he continued. “This defect is crippling and ensures he would fail in office. Trump is a bigot, a bully, and devoid of grace or magnanimity. His thin-skinned belligerence toward every challenge, rebuke or criticism would promise the nation a series of a high-voltage quarrels. His casual dishonesty, his policy laziness, and his lack of self-awareness would mean four years of a careening pin-ball journey that would ricochet from missteps to crisis to misunderstandings to clarifications to retractions.”

Mr. Lavin argued that a president has to have a thick skin to ignore criticism, something he said Mr. Trump lacked. He cited Mr. Trump’s recent row with the parents of deceased Army Capt. Humayun Khan and his four business bankruptcies as evidence he is ill-equipped for the presidency.

“The bankruptcies reflect a man who either lacks reasonable business judgment or reasonable business ethics,” Mr. Lavin wrote. “To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, one bankruptcy may be regarded as a misfortune, but four begins to look like carelessness. We can suppose that Trump has every legal right to declare bankruptcies and to walk away with millions. And voters have every legal right to vote against him for those actions.

“There are many issues on which Hillary Clinton and I are not in agreement,” he concluded. “However on the core foreign policy issues our country faces — alliance relationships, security commitments, and international engagement — she comes closer to Republican views than does Trump. And Donald Trump makes me cringe. I am voting for Hillary. And I vote in Ohio.”

Mr. Lavin joins a growing number of Republicans who say they will back Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump, including former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

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