SPRINGFIELD — Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Peoria Republican who served in the cabinet of Democratic President Barack Obama, said Thursday he will not be voting for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump for president.
“Like many Republicans … I am very disappointed,” LaHood said after delivering the keynote address at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. “I think the Republican Party is facing a real challenge in terms of, ‘How do we reconcile all of the negativity that’s come from Trump, and how do you reconcile it with the voters?’
“I’m not going to vote for Trump,” said LaHood, who served as a Republican member of the U.S. House and is father of U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria.
Darin LaHood has said of Trump: “Our Republican nominee is better than any candidate on the other side.”
Ray LaHood, asked Thursday if he could vote for likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president, said, “Time will tell.”
Ray LaHood, when in the U.S. House, presided over the chamber when Hillary Clinton’s husband, then-President Bill Clinton, was impeached. The U.S. Senate later acquitted Bill Clinton of the charges voted on by the House.
“Lookit, I can’t vote for Trump after all the things that he’s said about different groups of people,” Ray LaHood said Thursday. “What he’s said about Muslims, what he’s said about women, the way that he maligned and criticized other Republicans, disparaged them … I don’t believe in that kind of politics.”
He mentioned targets of Trump’s criticism including other candidates and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Last summer, while talking about McCain’s time as a prisoner of war, Trump said, “(McCain) was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
McCain spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison.
The elder LaHood said that “time will tell” the effect that Trump will have on other Republicans running for office in November.
“But I think there’s a lot of senators that are worried about their U.S. Senate seats with Trump at the top of the ticket,” he said.