Hearing the phrase “Republicans for Clinton” might initially be surprising to some. Republicans for Clinton in 2016 or “R4C16,” a network of Republicans voting for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election, strives to preserve the Republican Party by opposing Donald Trump with a vote for the Democratic Party.
John Stubbs and former Tesla executive Ricardo Reyes founded the network, which is independent of any campaign, in June. The idea stemmed from Stubbs’ growing concern of the possibility of Trump winning the Republican nomination. In an interview with Stubbs, he began contacting other Republicans to express his concerns, learning that others felt the same urgency to act. Within a week of Trump accepting the nomination, Stubbs launched R4C16 with co-founder Reyes in a press conference outside of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Almost immediately, response from other Republicans across the country began pouring in.
Stubbs said that the grassroots network has three primary goals: defeating Trump, restoring Republican leadership and saving the Senate. The challenge comes, Stubbs said, when convincing Republicans to do what some have possibly never done before: voting for a Democratic nominee. Stubbs said that this choice, for many Republicans on the fence, often comes in a variety of stages. “Is there another option? Is there a third party? Does my vote matter?”
Stubbs explained that this is often the mindset of many Republicans who are conflicted whether Trump is the right candidate choice for their vote.
“Our effort is not really about convincing someone who likes Donald Trump that they shouldn’t,” Stubbs said. “It is about convincing the Republicans who know they can’t vote for Trump.”
As stated on the front page of the R4C16 website, their call-to-action in preventing Trump from entering the White House is due to his temperament, character and preparation for what could be his presidency. “If elected, Donald Trump would not only wreck the Republican Party, but also individual freedom, economic growth and global stability,” the Web site reads. This statement is alongside with R4C16’s goal for the Republican Party to “Restore credibility to the party by rejecting Trump and returning to our core principles.”
The R4C16 founders have said in a press interview and on their website that if Trump were to win, his policies would be massively destabilizing to the U.S. economy as well as global security. Quickly glancing over their online presence, it is evident that many other Republicans agree with the mission: Since the launch in June, the R4C16 Facebook page has gained almost 40,000 “Likes” as well as a lengthy endorsement list on the Web site. It features prominent business leaders and policy experts who support the network.
Given that the grassroots network is titled Republicans for Clinton in 2016 it implies that, once 2017 comes around, the Republicans who used their vote for Clinton will no longer support the Democratic Party. Stubbs agrees that it does imply that. However, it does not mean that the Republican and Democratic Party are unable to work together on significant, essential issues, Stubbs said. In a recent Business Insider article, Reyes said, “We believe in individual responsibility, individual liberty, individual freedom. Sadly, none of the things that Donald Trump seems to believe.”
For the minds of R4C16, Stubbs said, that Clinton represents a better opportunity of working together to solve important issues such as poverty, equality for all, academic freedom, and more.
“In many ways, I have policy differences with Secretary Clinton,” Stubbs said, “However, I do think that she would be a president that Republicans could work with.”
With the election only two months away, Stubbs and Reyes said they continue to establish a larger coalition of people to join their cause. R4C16 strives to continue to talk with individual voters, find out what other Republicans are thinking and tactically vote for the future of the Republican Party.
“Once you get to a place where you realize that the only thing between Trump and the White House is Secretary Clinton, then you start to take that on as something you need to get on board with.” Stubbs said.
Photo by Paula R. Lively
Hayley Folk is a writer, currently studying Public Relations, in her senior year at California Baptist University. She loves fashion and beauty, sharing other's stories and promoting self-care and confidence.