Former Republican Senator Endorses Hillary Clinton

Former Virginia Sen. John Warner, also a former Navy secretary, listens as Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, discussing the U.S. Navy's role in the global maritime environment. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Former Virginia Sen. John Warner, also a former Navy secretary, listens as Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, discussing the U.S. Navy’s role in the global maritime environment. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

When it comes time to pick a commander in chief, preparation is essential, retired senator John W. Warner of Virginia said Wednesday, explaining his decision to buck his party and endorse Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

“You can’t pull up a quick text like ‘National Security for Dummies,’ ” Warner, the maverick Republican, quipped at a news conference in Alexandria, where he was joined by Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), Clinton’s running mate on the Democratic ticket.

Warner, 89, is a World War II veteran, a former U.S. Navy secretary and a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and his comments focused heavily on military and national security issues.

He mixed war stories — literally, in some cases — with praise for Clinton and political jabs at Trump, a real estate executive, saying he felt compelled to share his thinking on the presidential race particularly for “those people still struggling with how to vote.” That included, he said, those in Virginia, a presidential battleground state.

With a backdrop of U.S. and Virginia flags, Warner recalled that during her days a junior senator from New York, Clinton came prepared to meetings that he led of the Armed Services Committee with papers “stuffed under her arms and dribbling onto the floor.”

When military witnesses appeared before the committee, Clinton was always “respectful,” Warner said, adding: “That’s one word that’s totally lacking from the other ticket.”

On foreign affairs, Clinton, a former secretary of state, has “a foundation of [her] own to build upon” as president, Warner said. “The other candidate, in my judgment, does not.”

Warner, who remained popular among his Virginia constituents throughout his five terms, said he’s been “distressed” by comments Trump has made about the state of the military and about military families.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, John Wagner

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