US 2016: Wealthy Republicans Campaign For Clinton

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US Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton waving after leading a discussion on gun violence prevention at the Wilson-Gray YMCA in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S., April 21, 2016.

GROUPS of wealthy Republicans unhappy with Donald Trump have been privately courting prominent peers to join them in backing Democrat Hillary Clinton’s United States presidential bid, several people involved in the effort told Reuters.

They say they are seeking money and endorsements from other Republicans disillusioned by Trump, their party’s candidate for the Nov. 8 presidential election. Some have received encouragement from Clinton and members of her campaign staff.

“I made the decision that I wouldn’t be able to look at my grandkids if I voted for Trump,” said Dan Webb, a former federal prosecutor and a self-described “Republican for decades” working to win over prominent Republican business people in Chicago.

Trump, a New York developer making his first run at public office, has made traditional Republican donors uneasy with inflammatory statements about women, Mexicans, Muslims and war veterans, among others.

Big-name Wall Street donors can make a difference for Clinton. They could inject big money into a campaign. They might influence moderate Republicans to switch sides. Their support of Clinton challenges Trump’s assertion that his business successes make him a better candidate for president.

With the political conventions barely over, the Republican effort to fundraise for Clinton is at an early stage. Some of the groups have yet to receive contributions because they must still file paperwork under campaign finance rules.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks declined comment for this story. Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson said business leaders are supporting Clinton because of her economic plan and because Trump “cannot be trusted.”

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