Former NJ Gov. Christine Todd Whitman Weighs in on the Debate

Email a Friend
Christine Todd Whitman walks on the floor of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008.

Last night's presidential debate was Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's last chance to reach out to any remaining undecided voters. Though the debate featured a barrage of personal attacks, it also included a substantive policy discussion. But was it enough to sway those voters still weighing their choice?

Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican, took to the pages of the Star Ledger earlier this month to say she is voting for Hillary Clinton, and encourage her fellow Republicans to do the same.

In an interview with WNYC's Richard Hake Thursday, she said she thought this was Trump's best debate performance so far, at least at the start. "He kept right on issues, they were calm, they talked about issues, it was a good thing. But then it broke down after about 40 minutes and he reverted to being the person who speaks over people, who makes snide remarks."

But Whitman said Trump's refusal to say whether he would accept the results of the election may have driven away some voters who were still on the fence about supporting him. 

Whitman called the remark "startling", saying she's concerned about what will happen after Trump loses, if that is the outcome. "He has been saying, in a sotto voce way, he's been implying that it's okay in so many different circumstances to take action, take it into your own hands, not just at the ballot box, which is fine—people should be doing that—but out in the streets, too."  

The former governor had words of warning for Democrats as well, saying the party is "about an election cycle behind the Republicans as far as being driven by their more extreme elements."

"There's no question between Bernie Sanders and Bill de Blasio and Elizabeth Warren the party is moving further to the left and time and again we've seen from polls the American people, by-and-large—by a great margin, actually—are in the center."