Former US president George HW Bush, a Republican, is understood to have decided to vote for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for the White House, and not his own party’s nominee, Donald Trump.
The stunning development came in a Facebook post from Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Democratic lieutenant governor of Maryland and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, as reported by Politico, the news site.
“The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!” the news site said, citing the post from Townsend that came with a picture of her shaking hands with the former president, which Hindustan Times couldn’t independently verify.
There was no confirmation or denial from the office of the former president or his family, which is known to harbor deep misgivings about the Republican nominee, who has also been extremely critical of the two former presidents of the family.
And he crushed Jeb Bush, the third Bush to run for the White House, in the Republican nominating contests, tying him to some of the most glaring failures of the administrations of his father Bush Sr and elder brother George W Bush.
Both Bush and his son George W, the only living Republican presidents, had declared before they were not supporting Trump and stayed away from his convention in Cleveland. But that one of them could be voting for a Democrat was a surprise.
“That’s what he said,” Townsend told Politico in a telephone interview, adding, she met with the former president in Maine earlier Monday, where she said he made his preference known that he was voting for a Democrat.
If true, Bush Senior would join a growing band of lifelong Republicans who have chosen to break from their party and vote for Trump, unable to countenance his campaign rhetoric, divisive politics and lack of understanding of policies.
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman, a Republican who ran for California governor, announced her support for Clinton in August calling Trump a “dishonest demagogue” and comparing him to 20th-century dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Many other Republicans such as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, have announced their support for Evan McMullin, a former CIA operative and congressional policy adviser running as a conservative alternative to Trump.
Still, other Republicans have decided to stay away and not vote either for Trump or Clinton, such as Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, powerful secretaries of state to former Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
But Bush supporting Clinton, the wife of the man who unseated him in 1993, denying him a second term, is a stunning development, but only one of many in what is turning out to be a historic presidential election like none other in recent times.