A former spokesman and speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday to rip Donald Trump and denounce any comparisons between the Manhattan billionaire and the conservative icon Reagan.
“It’s an honor to be here; candidly, it’s also a shock,” Doug Elmets said, according to prepared remarks. “Not because of the momentous nature of this event, or the size of the crowd. It’s a shock because, unlike many of you, I’m a Republican.”
He said that he’s voted entirely Republican for the past 40 years – ever since he first cast a ballot.
“I haven’t just voted Republican, I worked in President Reagan’s White House,” he continued. “I recently led an effort to place a statue of Ronald Reagan in California’s Capitol.”
“I’m here tonight to say: I knew Ronald Reagan; I worked for Ronald Reagan,” he continued. “Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan.”
He contrasted Reagan’s famous demand of Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall with Trump’s plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
“Reagan saw nuance,” he said. “Trump sees the world as us vs. them, where somebody with brown skin or a foreign-sounding name is likely to blame for our troubles. Reagan knew that a leader needs diplomacy to steer a safe, prosperous course forward. Trump is a petulant, dangerously unbalanced reality star who will coddle tyrants and alienate allies.”
Elmets said that he shudders to think where Trump will lead the country.
But, he added, he doesn’t think that Trump will get the chance.
“While Hillary holds many policy positions that differ from my own, her qualifications are indisputable,” he said, later adding, “This year’s Republican platform is the most alarming I’ve ever seen. It’s laced with anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-women positions that do not represent the views of most Americans. That is why this year, I will vote for a Democrat for the first time.”
He made a call to other Republicans to do the same, saying that “loyalty to country” matters more than “loyalty to party.”