Meg Whitman, a Hewlett Packard executive and Republican fund-raiser, said Tuesday that she would support Hillary Clinton for president and give a “substantial” contribution to her campaign in order to stop Donald J. Trump, whom she berated as a threat to American democracy.
“I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her,” Ms. Whitman said in a telephone interview.
She revealed that Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had reached out to her in a phone call about a month ago, one of the first indications that Mrs. Clinton is aggressively courting Republican leaders. While acknowledging she diverged from Mrs. Clinton on many policy issues, Ms. Whitman said it was time for Republicans “to put country first before party.”
Using remarkably blunt language, she argued that the election of Mr. Trump, whom she called “a dishonest demagogue,” could lead the country “on a very dangerous journey.” She noted that democracies had seldom lasted longer than a few hundred years and warned that those who say that “it can’t happen here” are being naïve.
Ms. Whitman also said she “absolutely” stood by her comments at a private gathering of Republican donors this year comparing Mr. Trump to Hitler and Mussolini, explaining that dictators often come to office through democratic means.
A billionaire who spent $140 million of her own money in a failed bid for governor of California in 2010, Ms. Whitman, the former chief executive of eBay, is a prized defector for Mrs. Clinton. She is close to Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee; has deep ties to the country’s business elite; and is a rare female Republican executive in Silicon Valley.
Credit : nytimes.com