Following the first debates between the GOP and the Democratic Party, many Republicans are unsure of what is to come should Donald Trump and Gov. Mike Pence win the race.
"I think Mike Pence cheered [up] a lot of Republican conservatives who have been pretty gloomy until last night by forcefully articulating a case for conservative internationalism and strong U.S. leadership in Europe and the Middle East, as well as rebuilding the military,” Eric Edelman, former undersecretary of defense for policy in George W. Bush's administration, told Politico on Tuesday.
"Too bad that those very principles have been consistently undermined by the person with whom he is running at the top of the ticket. Honestly, I am not sure what it means other than that Mike Pence is what he has always been: a voice for a tough-minded, Reaganesque approach to national security."
Edelman is one of over a dozen former GOP foreign policy insiders who have publicly refused to vote for Trump.
Trump has recently faced criticism over his seeming-friendliness with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has publicly advocated against choosing sides in the Syrian civil war.
Pence, during his debate with Sen. Tim Kaine on Tuesday, called Putin "the small and bullying Russian leader," and called for the United States to create "safe zones" protecting Syrian civilians so they can "be prepared to use military force" against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"Trump has been openly contemptuous of positions Pence was taking," Matthew Waxman, a former State Department and Pentagon official under Bush who is now at Columbia Law School, told Politico. "Maybe this was intended to placate mainstream Republicans who are offended by Trump's positions or ignorance. But there's no reason to expect that Pence would have any real effect on a Trump foreign policy.
"This is not just an issue of politics but of national security. That Trump and his running mate can't even tell a consistent story on the most significant foreign policy challenges shows that a Trump administration would be unable to communicate effectively with adversaries and allies."
Waxman concluded that he cannot vote for Trump.
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