These days it seems like all the Republican national security experts are doing it, but Stephen Hadley, George W. Bush’s national security adviser, told an audience at a Politico Playbook breakfast Thursday that it’s not that easy to just walk away from Donald Trump.
Hadley was asked pointedly if Donald Trump had the temperament to be the nation’s commander in chief. “Yes or no,” the audience member asked.
“Yes or no,” Hadley said jokingly before responding with more nuance to the question.
“It’s a very difficult position that a lot of Republicans are in and it sounds easy so a number of my Republican friends have said, ‘He does not have the temperament; therefore, I endorse Hillary Clinton.’ And that is a legitimate approach,” Hadley said. “The problem with that approach is that Republicans will then say, ‘Well, you know, you really weren’t a Republican anyway’ and shelve them. And you then cleave yourself out of the debate within the Republican Party about what does the Republican Party stand for.”
In June Brent Scowcroft, who was a Republican national security adviser in two Republican administrations, endorsed Hillary Clinton, saying she brought unique experiences and perspective to the office. Other Republican national security experts have also endorsed Clinton.
However, Hadley wasn’t ready to go down that road.
“You got to figure out about what it says about the country,” Hadley said.