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August 3, 2016

HPE CEO Meg Whitman slams Trump ‘demagoguery’ and backs Clinton for President

News: Tech leader joins Silicon Valley compatriots in criticising Republican candidate.

By Alexander Sword

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO Meg Whitman has joined the chorus of Silicon Valley executives endorsing Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton for US president and criticising Republican candidate Donald Trump.

In a LinkedIn post, Whitman described herself as a “proud Republican”, but said that to vote for Trump for party loyalty reasons would be “to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division.”

“Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character,” she wrote.

She lambasted Trump’s “reckless and uninformed” positions on issues such as immigration, the economy and foreign policy, saying that he “lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President.”

“Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.”

Whitman then wrote that she had decided to support Clinton, citing her “temperament, global experience and commitment to America’s bedrock national values.”

“In a tumultuous world, America needs the kind of stable and aspirational leadership Secretary Clinton can provide,” Whitman wrote.

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She finished by urging Republicans to join her in rejecting Trump at the election.

This statement follows reports by the New York Times in June, the New York Times reported that Whitman had compared Trump to 20th Century dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini at a meeting of prominent Republicans.

Whitman’s intervention will be particularly valuable to the Clinton camp, as she has been a stalwart Republican supporter in the past. In 2008 and 2012, she endorsed Republican candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney in their respective Presidential races against Barack Obama.

She mounted an unsuccessful bid to become Republican Governor of California in 2010, spending $150 billion of her own money.

She is not the only Republican figure that has strayed from the party line. Ted Cruz, Trump’s competitor in the primaries to decide the Republican candidate, stopped short of endorsing Trump at the Republican National Convention. Mitt Romney has also refused to endorse Trump.

However, by and large, major Republican figures have supported Trump’s candidacy.

Trump has been a controversial candidate, attracting criticism over proposals to prevent Muslims from coming to the US and plans to force Mexico to pay to build a wall to prevent immigration between the two countries.

Clinton has also been controversial, with a scandal over her use of a private email server playing out during the campaign.

Whitman’s statement comes after a scathing open letter on 14 July from major figures in the technology industry attacking Trump’s candidacy.

“We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation,” they wrote.

They slammed Trump’s stance on immigration, which they said would reduce the talent pool of the country, as well as his plans to shut down parts of the internet to combat terrorism. The letter also suggested that a Trump administration would not provide the necessary investment role in the economy.

Amongst other names including MIT professors and former Government officials, it was signed by Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple, Josh McFarland, Vice President of Product at Twitter, Aaron Levie, Co-Founder and CEO of Box and David Karp, Founder and CEO of Tumblr.

PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel, however, went against the grain by endorsing Trump at the Republican National Convention.

“Where I work in Silicon Valley, it's hard to see where America has gone wrong,” said Thiel.

Harking back to the US Government’s high-tech achievements of the past, such as the Apollo missions and laying the foundations for the internet, the entrepreneur and investor said that Trump would be the “builder” who could rebuild America.

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