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President Obama says Republicans should take back their Donald Trump endorsements.

Meg Whitman joins chorus of Republicans supporting Hillary Clinton

 (Los Angeles Times)
(Los Angeles Times)

Meg Whitman, the Hewlett-Packard chief executive who ran unsuccessfully for governor of California in 2010, will back Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, joining other prominent Republicans troubled by Donald Trump's candidacy.

"As a proud Republican, casting my vote for president has usually been a simple matter. This year is different,” Whitman wrote on Facebook. “Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.”

Whitman, a major GOP fundraiser whose net worth is about $2 billion, also told the New York Times that she planned to raise money for Clinton.

Whitman has already donated more than $100,000 to anti-Trump efforts, but her decision to actively solicit donations for Clinton is a major blow to Trump's fundraising, which has deeply lagged behind Clinton. Last month, Clinton raised $90 million for her campaign and that of other Democrats, while Trump said he raised a bit more than one-third of that.

“Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more,” wrote Whitman, urging fellow Republicans to reject his nomination.

In recent days, Trump has drawn scorn from Democrats and Republicans alike for his criticism of an American Muslim family whose son died in combat in Iraq, and several leading Republican operatives have backed off from supporting Trump. 

Sally Bradshaw, an influential GOP strategist in Florida who advised former Gov. Jeb Bush during his primary campaign, announced Monday that she would leave the party.

A day later, Maria Comella, a top former advisor to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also called Trump a demagogue and signaled her support for Clinton.

Trump, she said, "has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people's anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the 'other.' "

The move by several Republican women to back Clinton underscores the issues the GOP nominee has had with female voters.

Trump's comments about women, including suggesting that a Fox News reporter was menstruating when she questioned him in a Republican debate, have been the subject of advertising by Clinton and super PACs supporting her campaign.

While speaking to reporters Tuesday, President Obama declared Trump “unfit” to become president and said Republican denunciations of Trump’s actions were hollow if they continued to endorse him.

“There has to come a point at which you say, 'Enough,' " he said. "... The alternative is that the entire party effectively endorses and validates the positions that are being articulated.”

Whitman echoed some of the president’s themes in her Facebook post: “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.”

She added that in a “tumultuous world, America needs the kind of stable and aspirational leadership Secretary Clinton can provide."

Updated at 9:16 p.m.: The post was updated with additional comments from Whitman. 

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