On the night that Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, Sacramento Republican Doug Elmets, who worked in the Reagan White House and spearheaded construction of a statue of the late president at the California Capitol, will deliver a blistering critique of Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention.
In his Thursday night address, the Sacramento public affairs consultant will call Trump a “petulant, dangerously unbalanced TV star” and contrast him with Ronald Reagan, he said Monday.
Elmets previously said publicly that he planned to vote for Clinton. Still, he said people will be “a little bit shocked” by what he called a “pretty provocative” speech. In his remarks, he will seek to persuade Republicans and independent voters to shift their support to Clinton.
“I believe that four years of Hillary Clinton is better than one day of Donald Trump as president,” he said Monday.
Trump’s candidacy has provoked uneasiness among many members of the California Republican Party’s political and professional classes, who fear Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border could further damage a party that as withered in part due to its failure to appeal to Latino voters.
Disaffection among Republicans is not overwhelming in California, but neither is it insignificant. According to a Field Poll this month, Trump is supported by 72 percent of likely Republican voters in California in a head-to-head match-up with Clinton, falling to 64 percent when Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is included in the poll. In the match-up with Trump, 16 percent of California Republicans supported Clinton.
I believe that four years of Hillary Clinton is better than one day of Donald Trump as president.
Elmets’ speech will be brief, lasting two and a half minutes, and would be routine if not for the source. Not only is Elmets tied to Reagan, a conservative icon, he is a 58-year-old white man, a relatively strong demographic for Trump. He said he has never before voted for a Democrat.
Elmets said he will tell delegates that Trump is “running for president based on fear, whereas Ronald Reagan ran for president based on hope.” He said he also plans to criticize the Republican Party platform, which he called “the most alarming collection of extreme positions imaginable.”
“Although Hillary Clinton holds many policy positions that differ from my own, her qualifications to be president are indisputable,” he said. “She is probably more qualified than anybody in modern history to be president of the United States.”
Former Rep. Doug Ose, R-Sacramento, said last week that the nation has moved off course on the economy, national security and foreign policy and that “the only way to get back on track is to put somebody else in there who hasn’t been part of creating the current problem, and that’s Donald Trump.
“There’s no way I’d vote for Hillary Clinton,” Ose said. “She’s been part and parcel of the establishment for how many decades? And she’s part of the reason why we’re in the spot we are.”