It's no secret that the Hewlett-Packard Enterprise President-CEO and finance co-chair of Chris Christie's presidential campaign hates Trump. In June, according to CNN, she privately compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini at a Utah retreat of Republican rainmakers convened by Mitt Romney. But Whitman, a major GOP donor, is now not only denouncing Trump, but backing Hillary Clinton. In an extraordinary 176-word statement she released on Facebook late Monday night, Whitman laid out why:
As a proud Republican, casting my vote for President has usually been a simple matter. This year is different. To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division. Donald Trump's demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.
Trump's reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues -- from immigration to our economy to foreign policy -- have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President. Trump's unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.
Therefore, I have decided to support Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is clear to me that Secretary Clinton's temperament, global experience and commitment to America's bedrock national values make her the far better choice in 2016 for President of the United States. In a tumultuous world, America needs the kind of stable and aspirational leadership Secretary Clinton can provide. I urge all Republicans to reject Donald Trump this November.
Why now? Because The Donald just won't listen to reason. Per The New York Times: "Ignoring Advice, Donald Trump Presses Attack on Khan Family and G.O.P. Leaders." Trump's continued bashing of the parents of fallen soldier Humayun Khan, as well as his retaliatory failure to endorse Paul Ryan (hilariously saying "I'm just not quite there yet," echoing Ryan's "I'm not there right now" re: endorsing Trump in May) has party loyalists' head spinning. The Times claims that, "Republicans now say Mr. Trump's obstinacy in addressing perhaps the gravest crisis of his campaign may trigger drastic defections within the party, and Republican lawmakers and strategists have begun to entertain abandoning him en masse."
Donald Trump's response? Well, uh...
There is great unity in my campaign, perhaps greater than ever before. I want to thank everyone for your tremendous support. Beat Crooked H!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2016
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.