Tom Ridge, 49 Other Republicans: Trump Would Be a ‘Dangerous’ President

The officials, who served Republican presidents such as Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, put their dire warning in writing.

You guys, seriously — this Donald Trump-for-president experiment could end really, really badly.

That’s the gist of a statement released today by 50 Republican officials who served in a variety of foreign policy or national security roles for Republican presidents, from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush. 

“From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be president and commander-in-chief. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous president and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being,” the officials — including Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security — wrote.

The message reads a bit like the collective pleading of parents who are trying to warn their teenage son about the dangers of getting into a car with a sketchy friend who likes to drink and brags about not having seat belts or airbags because he’s going to live forever.

“Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be president. He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.

In addition, Mr. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding of America’s vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances, and the democratic values on which U.S. foreign policy must be based. At the same time, he persistently compliments our adversaries and threatens our allies and friends. Unlike previous presidents who had limited experience in foreign affairs, Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself. He continues to display an alarming ignorance of basic facts of contemporary international politics. Despite his lack of knowledge, Mr. Trump claims that he understands foreign affairs and “knows more about ISIS than the generals do.”

You can read the whole thing here.

As you might have guessed, the Republican officials said they won’t vote for Trump in November. (This isn’t the first time Ridge has vowed that he won’t vote for Trump, either.) In addition to Ridge, the statement was signed by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff; former CIA director Michael Hayden; former Deputy Secretary of Defense William Taft IV; and Peter Feaver, a former senior director for Strategic Planning and Institutional Reform on the National Security Council.

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