‘Republicans for Hillary’ PAC aims for disaffected GOP donors

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Washington: Mathematically affirmed as the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton is getting help from across the partisan divide – in the form of a super PAC (political action committee) designed to trawl for donations from Republicans opposed to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Republican lobbyist Craig Snyder, who started working on behalf of Clinton in May, filed statement of organisation papers Friday with the Federal Election Commission for Republicans for Hillary 2016. The political action committee can accept unlimited sums for advertising, direct mailings, staff and other expenses but cannot coordinate directly with Clinton or her campaign.

Snyder, the president of Ikon Public Affairs, plans to solicit disaffected high-dollar GOP donors and Republican insiders who are, like himself, in the “Never Trump” camp.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Photo: AP

“This is a guy who is unfit to sit in the Oval Office at a time of international danger,” Snyder said.

So far, the only donations to the effort have been “in kind,” Snyder said, including work on the organisation’s website and three videos that portray Trump as a reckless commander in chief who would put US national security at risk. Snyder, whose former business partner, Roger Stone, was registered to lobby on behalf of the Trump organisation in 1999, won’t discuss fundraising goals but he wants to raise enough to pay for online and television spots.

“I would say, strategically, we would like to be able to have a meaningful presence in at least a few media markets that we think are potential tipping points in terms of the Electoral College,” he said.

Republicans for HillaryRepublicans for Hillary Photo: Facebook

One demographic target is married suburban women, a bloc that helped George W. Bush win re-election in 2004 over fears about terrorism.

“We think we can make a very similar kind of appeal, and that’s obviously in the messaging we’ve already produced,” Snyder said. “The greatest danger Trump poses is in the area of national security.”

Pro-Hillary Republican T-ShirtPro-Hillary Republican T-Shirt Photo: Supplied

One of the videos produced by the group is dubbed “Too Dangerous” and includes clips of Trump’s own statements saying he supports waterboarding, as well as spots from national security and military experts, such as retired General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency.

The idea that Republicans have all come together to rally around Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, is false, Snyder said, even as high-profile party members such as Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin have endorsed the billionaire real estate mogul. Polls show weaker support for Trump among GOP voters than the party’s most recent nominees, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Still, Snyder said his assistance to the Clinton presidential campaign does not gloss over his policy disagreements with the one-time first lady and New York senator.

“This isn’t saying that everything Hillary Clinton stands for suddenly becomes our point of view. It doesn’t, and it’s not,” he said. “But if this country winds up in World War III, none of our disagreements about taxes and regulations will matter. … So I’m very comfortable with Secretary Clinton in that role as commander in chief.”

TNS

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