Big-name Republicans, many of whom served in GOP administrations from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, have rushed to declare their support of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and denounce Donald Trump, the standard bearer of their own party.
Early in August, 50 former national security officials signed an open letter saying Trump is not qualified to be president and commander-in-chief and would put the country at risk. And there have been many other high-level Republican defections welcomed by the Clinton campaign.
Today comes news that two giants of Republican foreign policy may be about ready to back the former Secretary of State – but one of those endorsements is likely to inflame some supporters of Clinton, especially those who fell in line behind her after she defeated their first choice for the nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
The influential Washington newsletter Politico Playbook is reporting today that George Shultz, who was Labor and then Treasury Secretary under Nixon and served as Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, told two Politico reporters that he is considering an endorsement of Clinton.
That’s fine. But what may not sit so well with Sanders supporters now in the Clinton Camp is that Shultz may be joined in his endorsement by former Nixon National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
The 95-year-old Shultz told Politico that teaming up with 93-year-old Kissinger for a double endorsement might have “more impact.”
Last February in the PBS Newshour Democratic debate in Milwaukee, Bernie Sanders said Clinton has talked and written about getting the support of and mentoring by Kissinger. “Now I find it rather amazing because I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive Secretaries of State in the modern history of this country. I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger.
In fact, Kissinger’s actions in Cambodia, when the United States bombed that country, overthrew Prince Sihanouk, created the instability for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to come in, who then butchered some 3 million innocent people, one of the worst genocides in the history of the world. So count me in as someone who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger.”
After the applause died down, Clinton responded: “Well, I know journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy, and we have yet to know who it is.”
“Well, it ain’t Henry Kissinger, that’s for sure,” said Sanders.
Politico quoted a spokesperson for the Clinton campaign as saying “we don’t know anything” about such endorsement. And they are probably hoping they never do.